Remembering the high wind event of March 2018
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Wind is probably one of the questions I get asked most frequently. It’s often a misconception that wind is increasing over time, or that we have more windy days now than in years past. We typically get our windy days fal, winter and especially spring when the jetstream is stronger and our frontal systems are stronger.
As humans we’re pretty quick to forget weather events, especially ones that don’t have a big impact on us. You’re more likely to remember a wind event where you may have experienced damage as opposed to other high wind events.
On March 1, 2018 a cold front crossed the area with little rain, but incredibly strong wind. This low continued to intensify slowly off the East Coast as high pressure built in behind the front. Because this storm intensified, and it did so slowly, this basically led to a 2-day high wind event. It was also sunny so this was more of an unusual setup.
The low deepened until it reached 974mb by Friday evening, March 2 so this was a powerful Nor’easter for the East Coast.
Locally, this led to peak wind gusts as high as 50-70 mph. Here are some of the recorded gusts during the two day event:
|TOWN||PEAK GUST||TOWN||PEAK GUST|
|HAMPSHIRE CO.||76 MPH||PETERSBURG||59 MPH|
|MONTEREY||69 MPH||STAUNTON||58 MPH|
|UPPER TRACT||65 MPH||WEYERS CAVE||58 MPH|
|WINTERGREEN||65 MPH||NEWPORT (PAGE CO.)||58 MPH|
|LURAY||63 MPH||HOT SPRINGS||58 MPH|
|WINCHESTER||61 MPH||WOODSTOCK||51 MPH|
We had a lot of damage reports coming in from patio furniture, to shingles and siding being removed. Numerous trees came down across the area and this also led to thousands of power outages. At one point there were more than 500,000 customers without power across the state.
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