Heavy winds and scattered storms down trees, cut power across DC area

(Courtesy, 7News Meteorologist Steve Rudin via Twitter)
A large tree appears to be blown into a house just after 9 p.m. in Landover, Maryland. No one was injured and the resident was not home at the time. (Courtesy, Prince George's County Fire and EMS via Twitter)
A downed traffic signal causes temporary lane closure around the intersection of Duke Street and Callahan Drive in Alexandria, Virginia. (Courtesy, Alexandria Police via Twitter)
‘Thar she blows!’ A look north from Washington, D.C. into nearby Maryland ahead of severe weather. (WTOP/Hillary Howard)
WTOP Meteorologist Chad Merrill with the latest weather forecast for the D.C. metro area.

Listen to WTOP on the 8s for the full forecast, traffic and weather updates.

April has kicked off with some showers and high winds, knocking out power on Saturday throughout the D.C. area. Here’s what you need to know.

  • High wind warnings subside, with gale winds possible Sunday
  • Warmer than average temperatures, reaching 80 by the evening

The National Weather Service issued a high wind warning for the D.C. region, which began early Saturday morning and extended to 1 a.m. on Sunday. West winds are expected to range from 25-35 mph, with some gusts reaching 70 mph.

Later Saturday evening, the NWS issued a Tornado Watch for parts of Delaware and Maryland — including Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties until 10 p.m.

High winds brought down trees and power lines in Virginia, Maryland and the District.

WTOP Meteorologist Chad Merrill said that some of the highest gusts were reported near the Patuxent River Naval Air Station at roughly 70 mph.

“Winds will slowly diminish overnight, but downed wires and trees will be a problem through daybreak Sunday,” Merrill reported.

Other areas, such as California, Maryland, saw quarter-sized hail and continue to be impacted by heavy rains and wind.

Strong winds gradually taper off after midnight, setting up a cool and breezy Sunday.

Winds and severe weather bring down trees, stop bridge traffic

The NWS and several jurisdictional authorities are urging drivers to be cautious, especially those driving trucks or other high-profile vehicles, throughout the evening.

People should avoid being outside in forested areas near trees and branches during high wind warnings, according to NWS. It’s also better to remain in lower levels of homes away from windows.

Around 7:45 p.m., D.C. Fire and EMS said a fence that was blown down, striking an occupied vehicle. Though officials were able to remove the trapped driver without injuries, it came after hours of severe weather impacts.

Downed trees have blocked lanes of Kingle Road in Northwest D.C., the second of many expected calls received by the District’s transportation department, according to WUSA9’s Rafael Sánchez-Cruz.

Drivers attempting to travel across the Chesapeake bay bridge were also stopped due to high winds. The Maryland Transportation Authority said it shut down the bridge at around 9 p.m. after recording 72 mph wind gusts — an unusual event. The bridge has since reopened.

“The MDTA will close the bridge when sustained wind speeds exceed 55 mph for a continuous period of 10 minutes or more or wind gusts persistently exceed 55 mph over a period of 15 minutes,” WTOP’s Dave Dildine said. “Bridge closures are rare and only happen once every other year or so.”

Keep up with WTOP traffic and listen live to Traffic and Weather on the 8’s for the latest storm impacts.

Current weather

Weekend Forecast

Sunday: Sunny and slightly breezy.
Wind: NW 10-15 mph with gusts to 25 mph.
High: Low 60s.

Monday: Mostly sunny.
Wind: SW 10-20 mph.
High: Upper 60s.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny.
High: Mid to Upper 70s.

Wednesday: Increasing clouds with a shower or thunderstorm.
High: Upper 70s.

Power Outage Map for Virginia, Maryland and D.C.

The map below contains current power outages in Virginia, Maryland and D.C. This map is updated every 10 minutes.

WTOP’s Jessica Kronzer, Ivy Lyons and Ciara Wells contributed to this report.

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