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Posted at 3:15 PM ET, 12/31/2008

PM Update: 2009's Wind-Chilled Arrival

By Ian Livingston

Sunshine, more cold temperatures on New Year's Days

Wind Advisory remains in effect until 10 p.m.; some damage reported

* Top 5 Local Weather Stories of 2008 | Predict Inauguration Weather *

Temperatures: Current area temperatures. Powered by Weather Bonk. Map by Google. Hover over and click icons for more info. Click and hold on map to pan. Refresh page to update. See map bigger on our Weather Wall.

Temperatures that briefly jumped into the mid 40s this morning were sent falling back into the 30s today in the wake of a cold front. Snow squalls, along with some reports of lightning and thunder, provided a brief glimpse of wintry weather for many, including a temporary dusting in some areas. Winds gusting over 40-50 mph have been the real story of the day, with reports of trees down, power out and traffic lights dark. Winds will remain strong into the evening.

Tonight: Bundle up if headed out for New Year's Eve celebrations, it will be quite cold. Winds should decrease through the night but will remain gusty through midnight. Mid-to-upper 20s should do it for ringing in the New Year, with readings falling to the low 20s by sunrise. Some upper teens are possible north and west of D.C.

New Year's Day: The first day of 2009 will be sun filled and chilly. Winds will be significantly lighter than today, though still blowing around 10 mph from the northwest. Highs should top out in the mid-to-upper 30s.

2008 Remembered: Hurricane Gustav made our list of Top Ten U.S. Weather Events of 2008. Weather Underground's Jeff Masters recently analyzed a measurement of a 212 mph wind gust in Cuba during the storm. If verified by the World Meteorological Organization in early 2009, it will officially become the second-highest wind gust ever measured by anemometer. Watch the entire 2008 hurricane season on this awesome satellite animation from NOAA.

See Dan Stillman's forecast through the first weekend of 2009.

By Ian Livingston  | December 31, 2008; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Top Five Local Weather Events: 2008
Next: Forecast: Out With the Wind, In With the New Year


It seems to be windier than anticipated? Yesterday there were no wind advisories and you guys mentioned gusts only up to ~35mph. My local elementary school in Bowie had a gust over 50mph and Charles Flowers High School had a gust of 64mph!

Ah, but its nice to have the electricity back on...

Posted by: JTF- | December 31, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

JTF -- I agree the winds today are even more impressive than forecast (though to be fair, our forecast yesterday afternoon for today was for gusts up to *and over* 35 mph).

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | December 31, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Well, you could say "up to and over 5 miles an hour" and get the forecast right every time.

On a side note, it was a welcome surprise to see squalls this morning!

Posted by: KBurchfiel | December 31, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

now how in the world did the forecasters miss this one????? this is by far the worst wind storm in years. it would have been nice to be prewarned

Posted by: deveinmadisonva | December 31, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

So how is next week looking for winter weather around here?

Posted by: clintonportis17 | December 31, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

A wind event like today is not that common -- maybe once or twice a year? I don't think it was entirely missed beforehand. Just like it's hard to forecast 30"+ of snow for D.C. it's hard to forecast non t-storm winds topping 60mph in some locations.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 31, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

"now how in the world did the forecasters miss this one?????"

You must not pay attention to weather sites or the broadcast media weather reports. Every forecast that I read or saw called for strong winds for today. It is hardly the worst windstorm in years. I judge windstorms by power outages, the number of trees that I see down (I am in a profsession that takes me on the road a lot), roads closed because of downed trees, etc. In all of Maryland Allegheny Power is reporting less than 500 customers without power, I saw a few trees down, and some plastic trash cans in the street. Hardly the biggest windstorm in years.

Tell me. If you had been warned about a mammoth windstorm what would you have done differently?

Posted by: MKadyman | December 31, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

ok for one thing i do pay attention, to this weather site and the broadcast media weather reports. this wind event has been very dangerous and these unusual gusts have been far more than forecasted. here is what i got just be for going to work at about 615pm tuesday."Tomorrow (New Year's Eve): Temperatures drop, winds pick up, and morning clouds give way to increasing sun behind a cold front. After early highs in the low 40s, look for readings to fall into the 30s during the afternoon as winds gust up to and over 35 mph. By the time 2009 arrives, most locations should be in the 20s with a fairly gusty wind continuing to blow. i did not here about a the wind warning until wtop reported it after leaving for work. "Tell me. If you had been warned about a mammoth windstorm what would you have done differently?

i would have made sure every thing was secured,trampoline,trash cans,tarps, lawn chairs what car to drive to work.and while i am driving my tractor tralier i dont get cought off guard .gee maybe i should just stop checking the forecast and take what i get.

Posted by: deveinmadisonva | December 31, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

deveinmadisonva -- as acknowledged above, winds certainly overperformed compared to forecasts. but the post you cite from yesterday afternoon quite clearly called for gusty winds, both in the text and in the subheadline (Cold gusty winds bring blustery and dry New Year's Eve). This morning's forecast post that went up at 5 am upped the ante to 20-30 mph sustained winds with gusts to near 40 mph (still too low on the gusts as it turned out). As for the wind advisory, I can't speak for why or when the National Weather Service issues their watches, warnings and advisories.

So while I agree we and other outlets could've done better, our forecasts did indicate that winds would be a pretty big deal today.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | December 31, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

This midnight GFS model run was the best I've seen in a long time--as far as snow is concerned. I'm forecasting 6.7 inches of snow for what looks to be a cold and snowy January, with the first day of accumulation on the 6th.

Posted by: KBurchfiel | January 1, 2009 2:20 AM | Report abuse

no big deal, but i do find it odd, that this one snuck up on all of us. its kinda like calling for 3' snow we get 12' happy new year gang

Posted by: deveinmadisonva | January 1, 2009 2:45 AM | Report abuse

It was bitter cold when we first went out given the high winds, but was much better on the way home, as the wind had died down considerably. Good thing, because the Georgetown Metro bus stopped running at midnight, and its a lengthy walk to Foggy Bottom - esp. since we were a mile up Wisconsin to start with!

Anyhow, HAPPY NEW YEAR to all! :) May it bring us much snow.

Posted by: jahutch | January 1, 2009 4:30 AM | Report abuse

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