In addition to the wind, the other big story overnight will be the cold temps. Temperatures quickly plunged from near 60 into the 40s across the region over the last two hours and a freeze warning is in effect for our colder suburbs.
Have a good night and stay safe…
11:21 p.m. update: The most extreme winds from this event have likely come and gone, but very strong gusts to 40 to 50 mph are likely intermittently throughout the night and into the morning. The widespread gusts reported in the 55-65 make this the biggest large-scale severe wind event since the derecho of June 29, 2012.
11:11 p.m. update: Really impressive map showing peak gusts, via CWG’s Ian Livingston:
11:09 p.m. update: Power outages are mounting…
11:07 p.m. update: Reagan National Airport reported a wind gust to 59 mph at 10:52 p.m. Earlier, Dulles Airport gusted to 66 mph.
11:00 p.m. update: The entire region is now under a high wind warning given the potential for gusts over 50 mph.
10:50 p.m. update: The worst of the winds in the D.C. metro region should continue through around 11:30 p.m., when gusts to 50-65 mph are likely and/or have already occurred. But, even after that, gusts in the 40-50 mph range are possible for a good part of the night.
We continue to see increasing reports of power outages, tree damage, and lofted debris from this event.
10:41 p.m. update: This is turning into a serious wind event with widespread gusts over 50 mph around the region. Reports of trees down and outages. Stay inside for next hour until the worst subsides.
10:35 p.m. update: Holy cow! Dulles Airport recorded a wind gust to 66 mph at 10:31 p.m. with sustained winds of 51 mph.
10:15 p.m. update: The burst of wind associated with the cold front blitzing the region has reached the I-95 corridor, including the District. This wind hits suddenly and with a great deal of force. Following this initial burst, additional strong wind gusts are likely as the line of showers stretching from northern Montgomery county to northern Fauquier County presses eastward over the next hour.
10:05 p.m. update: The inbound wind gusts are for real. Gusts reported to D.C.’s west include: Martinsburg 58 mph, Frederick 56 mph, and Hagerstown 53 mph.
9:50 p.m. update: The leading edge of very gusty showers extends from around Frederick to Front Royal and should hit the Beltway between around 10:30 and 11 p.m. Strong winds develop a bit ahead of this line rather abruptly and are already into D.C.’s western suburbs from Germantown to Reston. Use caution, as gusts to 50-55 mph are possible along with scattered power outages.
4:25 p.m. update: It turned into a nice springtime afternoon following this morning’s rain. But don’t let that fool you, a big windy punch is inbound.
Wind is already on the increase as the system shown spinning near the Great Lakes above rapidly approaches the region. It’s appearance on radar alone makes it somewhat imposing thanks to many bands of convective precipitation rotating around it.
CWG’s Jeff Halverson recently wrote in to stress that “wind could hit like a fist before midnight.” He pointed out that the short-term HRRR has continued to show an “impressive arc of 55-65 mph gusts sweeping through late this evening.” This is roughly the level of wind from a severe thunderstorm, with indications it could be widespread.
While the exact timing is hard to pin down just yet, simulations have continued to suggest this line passes from about 10 p.m. through midnight. You may want to charge phones and other devices as at least some power outages are possible. Also perhaps plan on being indoors late this evening as this line of showers and isolated thunderstorms could be ferocious. Strong and potentially damaging winds will continue behind it as well.
11:15 a.m. update: The most consistent of the morning rain is pushing east of the area, but some showers are still floating by through the 95 corridor. Those stragglers should continue to wind down over the next hour or two.
The High Wind Warning and Freeze Warning has been brought in a little closer to the city. The areas highlighted below are covered in either or both warnings. Within the High Wind Warning, wind gusts as high as 60 mph are possible. In the city and areas not highlighted locally, a wind advisory for gusts to 55 mph remains in place tonight.
From 5:00 a.m…
TODAY’S DAILY DIGIT
A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.
5/10: Kind of yucky early thanks to clouds & showers, but some redemption late ahead of an overnight cold front.
Today: Widespread AM showers. Variably cloudy. Highs: Near 60.
Tonight: Squalls around midnight, clearing and windy. Lows: 30-38.
Tomorrow: Partly cloudy, windy. Highs: Mid-40s to near 50.
FORECAST IN DETAIL
Hopefully you got your fill of really warm weather recently, as we’re about to go into an extended break from that kind of weather. It’s April, so it won’t be frigid, but it might feel close to frigid at times, especially when the wind is roaring on Sunday.
Today (Saturday): Rain showers or a general light rain is likely across the region during the morning. It should tend to wind down prior to or around noon in D.C., which means a little earlier west and a little later east. Rain may end up favoring eastern parts of the area overall as well. Given the expected timing, the Nats exhibition game seems good to go, although if the rain departure is delayed a small delay is possible. And for Blossom Kite Festival folks, you might want to target after lunch. In the afternoon, some clearing is likely and skies could even be fully clear for a time. It’s breezy and highs make the upper 50s to low 60s. This day gets a 5, but it could be a case where the morning is a 2 and the afternoon is an 8! Confidence: Medium-High
Tonight: A small but powerful and strengthening low pressure system passes to our north and drags another cold front through the area. This cold front seems likely to spawn a squall line as it moves through overnight. It’s hard to guarantee thunder and lightning, but it’s certainly possible, as is briefly heavy rain and small hail or graupel. After that, winds ROAR. Potentially damaging gusts as high as 50-60 mph are possible within a general 25-35 mph sustained wind. Lows dip to near 30 in the coldest spots and to the upper 30s downtown. Confidence: Medium-High
Tomorrow (Sunday): It’s a chilly and windy one, especially early in the day. Winds are a little weaker than overnight, with sustained levels around 20-25 mph early and a few gusts near or past 45 mph possible. We do see quite sunny skies though, perhaps with some clouds intermixed during peak heating. It won’t be too warm, as highs only reach the mid-40s to near 50. I do think winds should die off pretty quick late day as the pressure gradient relaxes rapidly. It could be a relatively pleasant evening for a stroll! Confidence: Medium-High
Tomorrow night: Skies remain mostly clear and it’s another seasonably chilly one. Look for a low temperature range from near 30 to near 40, coolest suburbs to warmest urban areas. Winds head toward light. Confidence: Medium
A LOOK AHEAD
A winter-like clipper system is passing to the north on Monday. Out ahead of it we should see warmer air temporarily drawn back into the area, and probably an increase in clouds. There could even be a few showers around at times, particularly late day. Highs are in the near 60 to mid-60s range. Confidence: Medium
Another cold front passes Monday night and brings us cooler air for Tuesday. Lows are in the 30s most spots, with highs only reaching the mid-40s to near 50 once again. We should see increased sunshine with time at least, but winds are probably gusty again, just not quite as bad as this weekend! There’s a risk for a widespread freeze, even into the city, Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Confidence: Medium