Although most people throughout Arlington seem to be enjoying the warmer weather, not everyone is happy with it. Allergy sufferers are getting bombarded with a spike in pollen thanks to some early blooms.
The tree pollen level shot up to high today due to the warm and windy conditions.
Local doctors say typically the first couple weeks of April mark the start of heavy allergy season. That increases throughout the month as more trees release pollen spores, which can be seen blanketing the area.
This year, allergy sufferers have already been reporting symptoms for weeks, thanks to a mild winter. In fact, the Capital Weather Gang reports this has been the third warmest meteorological winter on record for the region.
Don’t worry, there is relief in sight. Lower temperatures and expected showers should push pollen back into the moderate level tomorrow.
Until then, here are some tips for lessening allergy suffering:
- Keep windows closed at home and in the car. Use the air conditioner if necessary, and be sure to change air filters.
- Stay inside on windy days.
- Avoid outdoor activity in the morning when pollen counts are highest, usually from 5:00-10:00 a.m.
- Change clothes after being outside. Take a shower to wash off pollen spores, especially before going to bed.
- Use a machine to dry laundry instead of hanging it outside.
Get ready for some breezy weather tonight. The National Weather Service is predicting 20 to 30 mph sustained winds, with gusts up to 55 mph, starting late this afternoon.
The winds carry the possibility of blowing debris and downed power lines, among other hazards. From Arlington Alerts:
The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for Arlington County and other jurisdictions within the National Capital Region from 3 pm, Friday, February 24th, until midnight tonight. The strongest winds are expected to occur late this afternoon thru this evening with gusts up to 55 MPH. Winds this strong may make driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles. Use extra caution
(Updated at 12:25 p.m.) Tropical storm-force winds from Hurricane Irene, combined with a steady, soaking rain, brought down at least 75 trees throughout Arlington last night, completely or partially blocking at least 35 streets, authorities said.
The falling trees blocked main roads, like Columbia Pike and westbound I-66, and knocked out power to various parts of the county. The 100 block of N. Liberty Street, Rock Spring Road and N. Wakefield Street, N. Quantico and N. 18th Street and N. Edison and Little Falls Road all remain blocked this afternoon, according to authorities and residents. County crews with chainsaws are helping to remove fallen trees and tree limbs from the roadway.
Some trees fell onto power lines and the roofs of houses, courtesy of wind gusts up to 59 miles per hour. A tree also fell onto the Blue Line tracks near Arlington National Cemetery, forcing Metro trains to single-track through the area.
Dominion was reporting more than 14,000 customers without power in Arlington as of 6:00 a.m. Numerous traffic lights were either dark or flashing as power flickered in many parts of the county overnight. The number of reported power outages dropped to just below 8,000 by noon on Sunday.
So far, only one minor storm-related injuries has been reported, according to Arlington County spokeswoman Jennifer K. Smith.
A flood watch will take effect at 6:00 tonight as heavy rains move into our area from the southwest.
A steady, soaking, all-day rain and and gusty winds should make for an unpleasant Thursday. Officials are warning anyone who lives in low-lying or flood-prone areas to be “prepared to take action should flood develop.”
FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM EST THIS EVENING THROUGH THURSDAY EVENING…
THE FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR
* PORTIONS OF NORTHERN AND EASTERN MARYLAND… THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA… EAST OF THE BLUE RIDGE.
* FROM 6 PM EST THIS EVENING THROUGH THURSDAY EVENING
* PERIODS OF MODERATE TO HEAVY RAIN WILL MOVE INTO THE REGION AHEAD OF A COLD FRONT THIS EVENING INTO THURSDAY. BY THE TIME THE FRONT CLEARS THE AREA THURSDAY NIGHT… UP TO 3 INCHES OF RAIN WILL BE POSSIBLE.
* THE FORECASTED RAINFALL AMOUNTS LIKELY WILL CAUSE FLOODING OF LOW LYING AREAS… AS WELL AS CAUSE SMALL STREAMS AND CREEKS TO RISE OUT OF THEIR BANKS. THE RUNOFF WOULD THEN CREATE SIGNIFICANT RISES ON AREA RIVERS.
A FLOOD WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING BASED ON CURRENT FORECASTS.
YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE ALERT FOR POSSIBLE FLOOD WARNINGS. THOSE LIVING IN AREAS PRONE TO FLOODING SHOULD BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLOODING DEVELOP.
Miserable weather led to scattered problems across Arlington last night.
Steady rains caused some localized flooding in parts of the county. Police reportedly had to block off 11th Street at North Kennebec Street last night due to water in the roadway. A big pool of standing water also caused a traffic hazard on the northbound lanes of Glebe Road, just before Wilson Boulevard.
Local streams filled with fast-moving water as a result of the rain. This video shows a normally-peaceful section of Four Mile Run that turned into a raging rapid near Shirlington.
Elsewhere in Arlington, gusty winds brought down trees and power lines.
A brief period of sleet, meanwhile, made its way through the area around midnight. There was no noticeable accumulation in Arlington.
Numerous reports of downed power lines, toppled trees, dislodged traffic signs and blowing debris are coming in.
Among the reports we’re following right now:
- Downed power line on Four Mile Run Drive at George Mason Drive. Traffic is being diverted. Dominion is on the scene.
- Large tree down at 3700 North Harrison Street
- Awnings dislodged and glass broken at 3100 Clarendon Boulevard
- Compromised roof at 1300 South Arlington Ridge Road
- Updated at 5:05 pm. — Large tree down at 17th Street and North Utah Street
- Updated at 5:05 pm. — Wires down at 23rd Street North and George Mason Drive
- Updated at 5:05 pm. — Tree down at George Mason Drive and Four Mile Run Drive
- Updated at 5:05 pm. — Dominion is reporting 1,368 customers without power in Arlington
- Updated at 5:10 pm. — Wires down at 18th Street and South Edgewood Street
High winds have blown off part of the roof of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles building at 4150 South Four Mile Run Drive.
Firefighters report that a large section of the building’s metal roof blew off. The building has been evacuated. No injuries are reported.
A building inspector has been requested at the scene.
We took a few photos around Arlington this afternoon, before the really strong winds started blowing. The contrast between the blue skies and the quick-moving rain storms that passed through the area was quite striking.
Forecasters are warning of high winds that will be blowing into our area tomorrow morning and afternoon.
The winds come less than a week after Saturday’s wind storm, which knocked down large trees and power lines.
HIGH WIND WATCH NOW IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING…
THE HIGH WIND WATCH IS NOW IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING.
* TIMING… FRIDAY 11 AM TO 7 PM.
* WINDS… WEST-NORTHWEST 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 60 MPH POSSIBLE.
* IMPACT… BE PREPARED FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF POWER OUTAGES… AND DOWNED TREES AND LARGE BRANCHES. ENSURE LOOSE OBJECTS ON YOUR PROPERTY ARE SECURED OR BROUGHT INSIDE.
A HIGH WIND WATCH MEANS THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR A HAZARDOUS HIGH WIND EVENT. SUSTAINED WINDS OF AT LEAST 40 MPH… OR GUSTS OF 58 MPH OR STRONGER MAY OCCUR. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.
(Updated at 4:00 p.m.) A large tree has fallen and damaged a home on the 3800 block of North Vernon Street, in the Old Glebe neighborhood.
The falling tree took utility lines down with it. Dominion Power has shut down power to the lines and has a crew on the scene.
A number of incidents of downed trees and power lines have been reported around Arlington today as a result of the high winds.
The National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch and a High Wind Watch for tomorrow. Today’s warm weather will give way to colder, windy weather tomorrow. Gusts could reach as high as 60 miles per hour, forecasters say.
HIGH WIND WATCH IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A HIGH WIND WATCH…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING.
* TIMING…HIGH WINDS WILL BEGIN THIS EVENING…WITH THE STRONGEST WINDS BETWEEN 5 AM AND 7 PM.
* WINDS…GUSTS UP TO 60 MPH WILL BE POSSIBLE…ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE RIDGES.
A HIGH WIND WATCH MEANS THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR A HAZARDOUS HIGH WIND EVENT. SUSTAINED WINDS OF AT LEAST 40 MPH…OR GUSTS OF 58 MPH OR STRONGER MAY OCCUR. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.
Together with low humidity, the high winds will produce weather favorable for the rapid spread of brush fires.
Hang On To Your Hat — A wind advisory is in effect until 9:00 tonight for the entire metro area. The National Weather Service says to expect sustained winds of 25 to 30 miles per hour, with gusts of 45 to 50 miles per hour. So far, the wind has not caused any major problems in Arlington. Dominion is reporting only 17 customers without power in Arlington as of 6:30 a.m.
Local Snowstorm a Bust, But Travelers Stranded — As it turns out, the snowstorm that was supposed to hit D.C. yesterday left barely a dusting. But at Reagan National Airport this morning, there is evidence of what could have been. The storm ended up blanketing northeastern cities with up to a foot and a half of snow, causing major disruptions to air, rail and bus travel. Many travelers who were trying to fly from Reagan National to Philly, New York or Boston instead spent the night at the airport. New York’s airports are not expected to reopen until this afternoon.
Arlington Residents Complain About Snow — The Dec. 16 “storm” that dropped about two inches of snow on Arlington prompted a slew of complaints to the county’s new online snow issue reporting form. Check out quotes from four of the complaints, courtesy of TBD.
Rosslyn Commons Groundbreaking Set — The groundbreaking for 1510 and 1530 Clarendon Boulevard, also known as Rosslyn Commons, has been scheduled for the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 25. Developer JBG sent an email last week asking local leaders to “save the date.”
Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief
So far, so good, at least for Arlington. There are no reports of significant damage or widespread power outages in the county as a result of this morning’s nasty weather.
As of 7:20 a.m., Dominion is reporting 115 customers without power in Arlington.
Compare that to the nearly 10,000 Dominion customers without power in Fairfax County.
Update at 9:00 a.m. — There are now a mere 8 power outages in Arlington County.
This morning’s heavy rain and high winds have prompted the National Weather Service to issue a number of alerts and advisories for Arlington and the surrounding area:
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED TORNADO WATCH 762 IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM EST THIS MORNING FOR THE FOLLOWING AREAS
ABERDEEN… ALEXANDRIA… ANNAPOLIS… ARLINGTON… BALTIMORE… BEL AIR… BERRYVILLE… CHANTILLY… CHARLES TOWNN… CHESAPEAKE BEACH… COLUMBIA… CULPEPER… EDGEWOOD… FAIRFAX… FALLS CHURCH… FALLSTON… FREDERICK… FRONT ROYAL… GAITHERSBURG… HAGERSTOWN… HAVRE DE GRACE… JOPPATOWNE… LAUREL… LEESBURG… LURAY… MADISON… MANASSAS… MANASSAS PARK… MARTINSBURG… MCLEAN… RESTON… ST MARYS… STANARDSVILLE… STERLING… TOWSON… WALDORF… WARRENTON… WASHINGTON… WASHINGTON… WESTMINSTER… WINCHESTER… WINCHESTER AND WOODBRIDGE.
… WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 AM EST THIS MORNING…
A WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 AM EST THIS MORNING.
* TIMING… GUSTS WILL CONTINUE THROUGH MID MORNING. GUSTS WILL SUBSIDE BEFORE NOON.
* WINDS… SOUTHEASTERLY WIND GUSTS OF 45-50 MPH.
A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT WIND GUSTS IN EXCESS OF 45 MPH ARE EXPECTED. WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT… ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION.
Special Weather Statement:
… HEAVY RAIN TO AFFECT THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA… ARLINGTON… MONTGOMERY… PRINCE GEORGES… CALVERT… STAFFORD… LOUDOUN… PRINCE WILLIAM/MANASSAS/MANASSAS PARK… CHARLES AND FAIRFAX COUNTIES…
AN AREA OF RAIN WITH EMBEDDED VERY HEAVY DOWNPOURS WILL MOVE OVER THE WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA DURING THE MORNING COMMUTE. RAINFALL RATES OF UP TO 1 INCH PER HOUR WILL SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE VISIBILITY AND WILL CAUSE PONDING OF WATER ON ROADWAYS AND OTHER LOW LYING AREAS. MOTORISTS ARE URGED TO USE CAUTION.
Flash Flood Watch:
… FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1 PM EST THIS AFTERNOON…
THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR
* PORTIONS OF MARYLAND… THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND VIRGINIA.
* UNTIL 1 PM EST THIS AFTERNOON
* A COLD FRONT WILL MOVE THROUGH THE MID-ATLANTIC REGION THIS MORNING. RAIN AMOUNTS OF ONE TO TWO INCHES ARE EXPECTED. THIS AMOUNT OF RAIN MAY CAUSE SMALL STREAMS AND CREEKS TO RISE OUT OF THEIR BANKS.
A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.
MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.
Seeing the storm damage in D.C. and Montgomery County this morning brought back memories of the storms that ripped through Arlington and Alexandria one week ago.
One storm-related incident in particular still has people talking a week later — the parking lot full of cars with blown-out windows at the Shirlington Bus Station.
How exactly did it happen? Nobody seems to know for sure. But one reader recently sent us this dramatic account of what she saw as the storm rolled through Shirlington.
Just as FYI – it was closer to 20 vehicles that had the glass blown out of their vehicles, not 6. And the storm took out their back glass, side windows and in some cases even the windshields… Working in the ANSER bldg across from the bus stop – employees watched as the trash cans and paper vending machines were swirled up as high as the 5th floor – then dropped like lead weights back to the ground.
The straight line winds in Shirlington were at around 70 miles per hour.