Dry, windy day ahead, with enhanced fire danger
It's going to be a beautiful day today (Wednesday), but you'll need to hang onto your hat. As the cold front moves off over the Atlantic, and high pressure builds across the region, the winds will pick up today out of the northwest and west.
The National Weather Serevice has issued a wind advisory for all of Central Maryland through 6 p.m. Wednesday. Wind speeds will rise to between 20 and 30 mph later this morning, with gusts between 40 and 50 mph before they diminish around sunset. There are gale warnings on the Bay until 4 p.m.
That sort of wind can cause minor property damage, and make driving high-profile vehicles a wrestling match.
UPDATE: More than 32,000 BGE customers lost power Wednesday as high winds knocked down electric lines.
We're seeing increased winds here at The Sun, - gusts as high as 19 mph so far - but our anemometer is pretty sheltered by trees and buildings.
Got your own weather station? Let us know what kinds of gusts you're seeing today. And if you snap any nice autumn-y photos of blowing leaves, send 'em in.
UPDATE: Winds seem to have peaked at BWI with gusts to 49 mph. Our highest at Calvert and Centre streets was 26 mph.
These winds will be dry. Relative humidities - now in the mid-50 percent range in Baltimore - will be falling to 30 or 35 percent. Coupled with the winds, that will raise the fire hazard. The NWS has issued a Special Weather Statement this morning noting the "enhanced fire threat." Although fuel on the ground is somewhat damp, forecasters say drying conditions could reach a point later today where they will need to issue Red Flag Warnings across the region.
UPDATE: Lowest relative humidity here at The Sun was 41 pct.
Whatever, be careful with open fires today and crush those butts.
Once the winds die down, we're looking at beautiful weather across the region tonight and tomorrow, with a forecast high Thursday of 70 degrees. Friday will bring increased clouds, with another cold front due later in the day. That will bring another chance for some showers. The weekend looks sunny but cooler, in the mid- to upper-60s. Yet another cold front on Columbus Day will drop daytime highs to near 60 degrees, with overnight lows in the 40s.