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Posted at 6:40 PM ET, 02/25/2011

PM Update: Powerful winds subsiding

By Jason Samenow

High wind warning canceled

Wind gust reports

6:40 p.m. update: Though gusty winds continue, winds have sufficiently diminished for the high wind warning to be canceled. Winds will continue at 20-30 mph with some higher gusts for the next couple of hours, but gradually slow down later tonight.

6:00 p.m. update: The worst of the winds are likely over but it's still gusty out there. For the second time this week, the Potomac Mills sign off I-95 was knocked down. At 6 p.m. winds were sustained between 20 and 30 mph, with gusts to 30 to 40 mph at the major airports. The high wind warning remains in effect for another hour unless the National Weather Service extends it. But the winds are definitely ramping down.

From 3:30 p.m.: Extraordinary winds are raging through the metro region. At 3 p.m., winds were gusting to 57 mph at Reagan National, 55 mph at Dulles, and 61 mph in Leesburg. Some places have seen gusts as high as 65-70 mph. These remarkable winds, already leading to thousands of power outages, downed tree limbs, and flying debris, will persist through the evening commute. Much more tranquil conditions are here for Saturday.

Temperatures: Latest D.C. area temperature map powered by iMapWeather (base map by Google). Click and hold on map to pan. Double-click to zoom. Refresh page to update. See larger map on our Weather Wall.

Through Tonight: Hazardous winds, sustained at 25 to 35 mph and gusting to 60 mph or even a little higher are possible through 7 p.m. or so. Then they should steadily diminish to just around 10 mph by morning. Temperatures turn much colder with lows 25-30 (suburbs-city).

Tomorrow (Saturday): What a difference a day makes. We have mostly sunny skies and relatively calm winds. It's quite a bit cooler (by 15 degrees or so) but not unpleasant with highs in the mid-to-upper 40s.

See Camden Walker's forecast through Monday. And if you haven't already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Video/photos of wind: Check out this YouTube video: Wind pulling doors open in Tysons

And see this picture: Broken awnings and glass in Clarendon.

And these: Bad hair photos

By Jason Samenow  | February 25, 2011; 6:40 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Strong front, some severe storms racing by
Next: Forecast: Decent weekend before rain risks


What doesn't break, bends,
taps at the window, points to
birds flying backwards.

Posted by: dclioness1 | February 25, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: snowedin85 | February 25, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: snowedin85 | February 25, 2011 3:55 PM | Report abuse

snowedin85 - thanks for keeping us apprised of the power situation. Very unfortunate :/

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 25, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Got a 5250 watt generator several yrs ago & had a seperate breaker box put in. Now if the power goes out, its start the gen. & plug it into the breaker box & I have power. It will run most of the house except the oven & hot water heater. Can run for 9 hrs on 1 tank of gas. Costco & BJ's have them in stock sometimes. They cost about $600. Well worth the investment, especially if the power is out for several days. Beats the heck out of candles & flashlights.

Posted by: VaTechBob | February 25, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't what the gusts have been in Fauquier but at times I've thought for sure the roof was going to come off my house. I have had just about enough of these blow-storms!

Posted by: mudbucket | February 25, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

There are some legs sticking out from the bottom of my house. The feet are wearing sparkly red shoes. Should I be concerned?

Posted by: mepeck | February 25, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: snowedin85 | February 25, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

VaTechBob - wow, great tip for all of us. Thanks! (I'm lucky enough to enjoy buried powerlines. phew.)

mepeck - nice...

snowedin85 - ugh. What do you think, will it reach 100k?

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 25, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Latest update of how many people now without power in VA: over 1 (puts pinky to mouth) BILLION people now without power!

/sorry had to do it

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 25, 2011 4:56 PM | Report abuse

We don't need weather reports to determine the cause or direction of these "Big Winds." Big Winds are a sure sign that Congress is in session and Al Gore (or Ghadaffi, or William "I Never Give A Short Speech" Clinton) is addressing the House.

Posted by: fregameeate | February 25, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Just got home from work. This is the first time I have ever seen traffic lights bouncing. And bouncing quite violently.

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 25, 2011 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Haven't lost power here in central MoCo thus far.

*Crossing fingers and shaking fist at nearest Pepco xformer.*

"Beats the heck out of candles & flashlights."--a generator enthusiast

Disagree with the general thrust of this tip, which reads like guerrilla marketing by Generac (though it obviously isn't).

Folks, though the timescale is up for debate, peak/plateau oil is very real. Stop denying it and deal with it. Why not look for creative and thrifty ways to adapt besides falling back on the most obvious and intensive-energy-dependent approaches??

When we lost power for those three days back in January, I (1) had more and rewarding face-to-face interactions with friends and loved ones than I had over the entirety of the previous six months (2) got many more tasks/projects done in my "off-line" life, and (3) connected/communed with Mother Nature in ways I haven't done since I was a kid.

Thanks, Pepco executives and shareholders! Boy, I can't wait to figure out how to wean myself off of Pepco's cr@pulent grid. Solar panels? Homesteading?? Maybe, especially if this Pepco ineptitude continues.

Posted by: FedUpInMoCo | February 25, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Appreciate everyone's observations, commentary, and humor

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 25, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Almost 30,000 customers without power in MoCo. Wonder how long it will take Pepco to restore it? Hint: see the last time it went out.

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 25, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

To partially make up for my eco-agitpropping thread hijack of the CWG bloglet, here's a fun TGIF pass-along for any of you New Wave / early '80s music fans out there:

Magazine - "About the Weather"

Happy Friday, y'all.

--the windiest windbag in Monty Co

Posted by: FedUpInMoCo | February 25, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if it'll reach 100k because Dom seems to be doing a decent job of restoring power. Now 60k are without power whereas 75k were without power about an hour ago. BUT this seems to be mainly due to power restoration efforts in the Shenandoah valley, the numbers in NoVA continue to climb.

Posted by: snowedin85 | February 25, 2011 5:26 PM | Report abuse


I hear ya. We got the similar system years ago after Hurricane Isabel when we were out for 5 days. We have a well, so no toilets, no showers, no nothing. We haven't used it much since then, thank goodness, but at least we can flush, take quick showers (while the hot water lasts in the tank) and have light. I agree, FedUpinMoCo, that it is nice to have that "time" that slips by us while we are too busy, but it's nice to flush!!!

Posted by: worldtraveler83 | February 25, 2011 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Not really enjoying any part of the wind here in Silver Spring. Got blown out of my car and could not physically make it to my apartment building until the gust subsided. Talk about feeling powerless!

Posted by: CuseFan07 | February 25, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse

After a high of 58, we're down below 32... as expected, it appears to be another time where the cold air arrives after all the precip... although I noticed a blip of snow on Intellicast radar north of I-66 along the Blue Ridge

Posted by: spgass1 | February 25, 2011 6:41 PM | Report abuse

The big bad wolf is still huffing and puffing at the 301 Bridge. The Potomac is one big white cap.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | February 25, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Winds have really diminished here in NE Loudoun...curently 23 mph gusting to 31 mph.

10,567 people are currently without power in Northern Virginia.

I'm a Dominion customer, but our power is very reliable. In fact, I haven't lost power once since July, I believe, when we had those awful t-storms. I also didn't lose power during Snowmageddon or Snoverkill. Just glad I'm not a PEPCO customer; they are one of the many reasons I will never live in the state of Maryland...

Posted by: BobMiller2 | February 25, 2011 7:48 PM | Report abuse

If you've got long hair, learn to always have a snug knit hat available, unless you want YOUR happy snap up on the WashPost bad hair day photo Hall of Shame.

Well wasn't that fun? Woo-hoo! Can we have a quiet no-weather drama weekend now? I'd like to go out & clean up all the wind debris from the front yard & poke around some in the mud.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 25, 2011 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Mayhem and destruction in my neighborhood in Centreville. This afternoon a piece of someone's siding blew into my yard. Couldn't see from my rear who it belonged to. Left the house around 4pm, and saw that the end townhouse 3 houses down from me was having its siding completely sheared off by the wind. Freaky. Called a friend who lived down the street and she said she was watching the shingles come off the townhouse right across from hers.

And the place is just one general mess of tree branches, trash cans, loose trash that folks didn't secure this morning - the whole bit. But, singing NOVEC's praises here, no loss of power.

Posted by: bobosnow | February 25, 2011 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I've been thinking about getting a generator for some time. The whole house systems are expensive... could stay in a nice hotel for a lot of nights for less than that... but that wouldn't help if you are stuck snowed/iced in... VaTechBob's portable generator route may be a good compromise.

Rappahannock Electric Coop recently took over my area from Allegheny Power and I have no complaints thus far... they've done a lot of preventative work in the area clearing trees back from the lines.

Posted by: spgass1 | February 25, 2011 9:06 PM | Report abuse

In the Vienna/Oakton area, this afternoon, we had what I think were the strongest gusts that I can remember...and I've lived here more than 30 years. I don't have a device to measure wind-speed on m property, but I guessed one gust at 70 MPH. I might not have been far off......nearby Reston had an official 67 MPH. Fortunately, no trees or power lines came down......which was amazing.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | February 25, 2011 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Forgot to mention the most unsettling thing, both today and last Saturday when we had some strong winds. I live in a flight pattern for IAD - the flights that approach from the south, basically right up Route 28. And let me tell you, I would not have wanted to be in any of those planes trying to land. No thank you. My carpet guy stopped by and said on his way down 28 from Sterling to Centreville, right by IAD, the planes were literally see-sawing side to side as they approached the runway. I barf just thinking about it. I don't know how many I saw come in as I left the house late today, but I can only imagine what those landings were like.

Posted by: bobosnow | February 25, 2011 11:56 PM | Report abuse


I'm on the other end of RT 28 from you, and I'm under the flight path of air traffic coming in from the north. I was away from home most of the afternoon, but I can just imagine how hairy it must have been for the pilots.

Posted by: natsncats | February 26, 2011 12:50 AM | Report abuse

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