A powerful storm system is heading to the D.C. area, bringing strong winds Saturday with the possibility of some gusts over 60 mph.
The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Warning for most of the D.C. area starting at noon and lasting until midnight.
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Overnight into Saturday, showers and heavier breezes will begin before picking up on Saturday. There are chances for an early morning thunderstorm before the big gusts head in.
The heaviest winds are expected Saturday afternoon and evening, according to WTOP meteorologist Mike Stinneford.
A High Wind Warning is issued when gusts of 60 mph and over are expected. The weather service said Saturday’s winds could down trees and power lines and that widespread power outages are expected.
In the case of countywide power outages, the Maryland Department of Emergency Management recommends keeping electronics charged up and locate batteries, flashlights or candles.
Motorists are urged to be cautious, especially truck drivers and other drivers of high-profile vehicles.
For D.C.’s southern suburbs, the weather service has issued a Wind Advisory, warning of gusts up to 50 mph.
Stinneford said the weather Saturday morning will start out with showers and isolated storms. Winds are expected to grow stronger throughout the afternoon, with the fiercest winds expected between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.
There is also a chance a line of storms will develop late in the day, most likely after 5 p.m., Stinneford said. If the squall line of storms develops, it could bring gusts of up to 70 mph.
The blustery weather is expected to bring an abrupt end to the peak bloom of the cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin in D.C. Events held by the annual festival will still take place and the multiple races over the weekend are still happening as of tonight.
SATURDAY: Morning showers and isolated storms, then becoming mostly sunny and windy. A chance of a late day shower or storm. Highs in the low to mid 80s. Winds may gust to over 60 mph Saturday afternoon and evening.
SUNDAY: Mostly sunny, breezy and cooler. Highs in the 50s to lower 60s.
MONDAY: Mostly sunny and warmer. Highs in the low to mid-70s.