Wind Advisory and Tropical Storm Warning Issued for D.C. Area
Saturday is expected to be a day of severe weather for the D.C. area, with a wind advisory in effect from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and a tropical storm warning for St. Mary’s and Calvert counties.
A large storm system, potentially becoming Tropical Storm Ophelia, is forecasted to bring prolonged periods of moderate to heavy rain and strong, gusty winds from Friday night through Saturday night. There may be a slight decrease in rain on Saturday morning, but moderate rain could continue into Sunday morning before tapering off in the afternoon.
While this storm is not expected to be crippling for the region, it may create dangerous driving conditions during periods of wind-swept rain. Residents should also be prepared for spotty downed trees and scattered power outages. The heavy rain can loosen soil, making trees more susceptible to falling.
The most turbulent conditions are anticipated on Saturday afternoon and night, with the possibility of thunder accompanying heavy rain, particularly in southern and eastern areas near Washington. Southern Maryland and Virginia’s Northern Neck also have a slight risk of brief tornadoes.
Widespread flooding is not expected due to the recent dryness in the region. However, localized flooding can occur in areas with poor drainage and near small streams. Coastal flooding is a more significant concern for areas along the Tidal Potomac and shores of the Chesapeake Bay, especially during high tide. Locations such as Old Town Alexandria, Southwest Washington, Annapolis, and Baltimore are at risk.
In response to the potential impact of the storm, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin declared a state of emergency to activate the emergency support team and ensure communities have the necessary resources to respond and recover.
Temperatures will be cool and raw over the weekend, with highs ranging from the upper 50s to mid-60s.
Rainfall totals of 1.5 to 4 inches are expected, with localized amounts up to around 5 inches. The exact amount of rain is dependent on various models, with predictions ranging from 1.56 inches to 3.2 inches.
Gusty winds are also expected, with gusts near 30-35 mph on Friday evening, increasing to sustained winds of 20-30 mph with gusts near 40-45 mph on Saturday afternoon and night. Stronger winds are anticipated in eastern counties adjacent to the Chesapeake Bay.
Downed trees and power outages are possible, especially along the western shoreline of Maryland. Although widespread flooding is unlikely, vulnerable urbanized areas and quick-responding creeks and small streams may experience some flooding.
Shoreline locations, including Old Town Alexandria, the Southwest Waterfront, and Annapolis, are at risk of minor to moderate flooding due to onshore winds from the northeast. Tidal sites in Southern Maryland, particularly in St. Mary’s County, could reach moderate to major flood stages on Saturday and Sunday.
Residents should stay updated on weather conditions and heed any warnings or advisories issued by local authorities.
[Source: The Washington Post]