When 50 to 60 mph winds arrive on paper recycling day, some interesting odds and ends may unexpectedly come your way.  Such was the case in my neighborhood Thursday when the normally mundane walk of my dog Pete turned into a game of dodge the flying paper products.  In just a 20 minute, one mile circuit, Pete and I were greeted with an airborne Johns-Hopkins Alumni magazine, various pizza shop flyers, some coupons for sushi and a front page from the Towson Times!

The winds were the result of a strengthening area of low pressure passing north of Maryland on it’s track from the great lakes towards New England, and a surge of cooler air rushing back into the mid Atlantic states.  The winds were impressive, with several locations clocking 60+ mph gusts, but the storm would have been much tougher to take if the temperatures were closer to normal.  With “normal” February temperatures (low 40s), Thursday’s winds would have produced wind chills in the 20s.  As it was, sunshine and temperatures in the 50s produced a minimal wind chill.

Some the of the highest gusts in the area, as reported by the National Weather Service:

Martinsburg, WV: 71 mph
Smithsburg: 66 mph
Rockville: 65 mph
Sabillasville (Frederick Co.): 62 mph
Hagerstown: 61 mph
Frostburg: 59 mph
Millers (Carroll Co.): 59 mph
Frederick: 59 mph
Westminster: 58 mph
Lancaster, PA: 58 mph
Columbia: 56 mph
BWI-Marshall: 54 mph
York, PA: 54 mph
Norrisville: 50 mph
Tolchester Beach: 50 mph
Elkton: 48 mph
Salisbury: 48 mph
Ridgely: 47 mph
Ocean City: 46 mph
WBAL-TV: 43 mph

As the storm pulls farther away and high pressure settles over the region Friday, the winds will slowly diminish during the afternoon and some chilly air will filter in for the weekend.

Tom Tasselmyer


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