High-impact winds down trees around DC, cause Northern Va. power outages

A lot of people got a side of chilly with their turkey this year.

High winds across the D.C. region downed power lines and left thousands of residents in the dark throughout the morning and afternoon on Thanksgiving — many of them in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Hundreds of residents in Maryland — in Montgomery, Prince George’s, Anne Arundel and Howard counties — also found themselves without power.

High winds also brought down trees and caused road closures as well.

As of 5:30 p.m., a part of River Road, in Potomac, Maryland, between Stoney Creek Road and Lake Potomac Driver after a downed tree caused wire damage, and in McLean, Virginia, Old Dominion Drive remained blocked near Bellview Road. A previous blockage of Damascus Road had cleared by then. And the Prince George’s County Fire Department responded to downed wires on Springfield Road between Powder Mill Road and Beaver Dam Road around 4:30 p.m.

A powerful area of low pressure will continue to pass to the D.C. region’s north Thursday, and the gusty winds the area has experienced overnight will persist, with gusts of 40 to 50 mph through the afternoon.

The winds will gradually die down Thanksgiving night, leading to a better day on Friday with cool temperatures but much lighter winds. Another storm system will approach on Saturday, bringing a chance of showers back into the area by sunset. Look for a cold rain for the big travel day on Sunday.

These powerful storms are affecting the D.C. area on both of the busiest travel days of the year.

Temperatures will be in the upper 40s to lower 50s on Thanksgiving, while continuing winds will make it feel even colder. Holiday travelers should expect some weather headaches.

The storms could also bring another round of snow to the Upper Midwest through Saturday, and a chance of snow this weekend in interior New England, said Alex Lamers, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

“That could be a coast-to-coast storm,” he said.

Friday will mark a break from the wind, and brings with it lots of sunshine, but temperatures will still peak only in the 40s.

Another storm system will approach on Saturday, bringing a chance of showers back in to the area by sunset, said Storm Team4 meteorologist Mike Stinneford. He says travelers heading back to the D.C. area on Sunday should expect cold rain.

This month, AAA predicted that the number of travelers over a five-day stretch starting Wednesday will be the second-highest, behind only 2005, despite rising costs for a road trip.

Current conditions


Thanksgiving evening: Gradual clearing skies. Blustery and cold. Temperatures in the low 40s and upper 30s.

Overnight: Mostly clear. Diminishing winds. Cold. Lows: upper 20s to mid-30s.

Friday: Mostly to partly sunny. Chilly. Highs: upper 40s to low 50s.

Saturday: Clouding over. Chance of rain by nightfall. Highs: upper 40s to near 50.

Sunday: Cloudy with periods of rain. A little milder. Highs: low 50s.

Power outages

WTOP’s Dave Dildine and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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