Sunday might be warm, but strong winds and a risk for isolated power outages are gearing up to make the start of the week a less than ideal respite from winter weather. The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for much for of the WTOP listening area, with gusts up to 50 miles per hour possible through Monday morning. Here's what you need to know.
WASHINGTON — Sunday may have been warm, but strong winds and scattered power outages are gearing up to make the start of the week a less than ideal respite from winter weather.
Gusts of up to 50 or 60 miles per hour began sweeping through the D.C. area Sunday afternoon and will continue into Monday morning, with cold air surging eastward over the Blue Ridge Mountains in the wake of the storm system that brought rain and warm temperatures to the region over the weekend.
Scattered power outages were reported around the WTOP listening area Sunday afternoon and tree damage are possible, especially in higher elevations of Northern Maryland.
Parts of northern Maryland along the Mason-Dixon Line are facing a High Wind Warning, but the D.C. metro area is experiencing slightly more mild winds. Gusts of up to 50 to 60 miles per hour prompted the National Weather Service to issue a Wind Advisory until 10 p.m. Sunday.
The National Weather Service said gusts that strong for an extended period of time bring with them a risk of downed trees and power lines. “Considering the ground is saturated due to recent snowfall and rain from last night, we could have some isolated power outages across the region,” NBC Washington meteorologist Lauryn Ricketts said.
The winds are expected to die down overnight, but will pick back up again Monday morning. A second Wind Advisory goes into effect at 4 a.m. Monday, putting wind chill temperatures between 20 and 30 degrees — a chilly start to the week.
Watches and warnings:
A high wind warning has been issued for the following parts of the WTOP listening area:
In Maryland: Frederick, Carroll, northern Baltimore and northwest Harford counties from 3 p.m. Sunday to 1 p.m. Monday.
A high wind warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected or occurring. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage.
A wind advisory has been issued for the following parts of the WTOP listening area:
Washington, D.C. from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, and from 4 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday.
In Maryland: Montgomery, Howard, Anne Arundel, Prince George’s, Charles, St. Mary’s, Calvert, southern Baltimore, and southeastern Harford, including the city of Baltimore, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, and from 4 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday.
In Virginia: Loudoun, northern Fauquier, Prince William, Fairfax, and Arlington counties, as well as the cities of Fairfax, Falls Church, Alexandria, Manassas and Manassas Park from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, and from 4 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday.
A wind advisory means that winds of 45 to 55 mph are expected. Winds this strong can make driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.
Most of the D.C. metro area received over an inch of rain from Saturday evening into Sunday morning from a storm system with a history of mischief through the Midwest and Southern U.S. Some minor flooding is possible along flood prone roadways on Sunday morning. Be careful when driving through areas that flood regularly.
As for the wind, driving could get difficult on bridges and higher elevations with stronger gusts. The Maryland State Highway Administration urged travelers to use caution if encountering high winds: “Please drive safely today,” the agency tweeted. “Be sure to travel with both hands on the wheel to maintain steering during high wind gusts.”
Some wind restrictions went into effect Sunday evening on Maryland highways. House trailers, empty box trailers, or any vehicle that cannot safely cross Chesapeake Bay Bridge on US-50 in Annapolis will not be permitted to cross.
Ricketts said strong winds could linger in the D.C. area through Monday afternoon, after which winds will gradually calm and give way to cooler, more seasonable temperatures again by Tuesday.
Sunday: WEATHER ALERT Mostly clear and dangerously windy
Lows: upper 20s to 30s
Winds: W 20-30 mph Gust 50 mph (60 mph north and west of the district)
Monday: WEATHER ALERT (AM) Plenty of sun but still windy
Highs: around 50
Winds: NW 15-25 mph, Gusts 35 mph
Tuesday: Winds grow calm, mostly sunny
Highs: mid to upper 40s
Wednesday: Mostly Sunny
Highs: Low 40s
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