Clashing fronts create high winds

December 12, 2000

Clashing fronts create high winds

By MARLO BARNHART / Staff Writer

Winds whipped across the Tri-State area Tuesday morning, sending garbage cans and a road sign flying and leaving some people without electricity.

The winds blew into the area around 6 a.m., with one gust measuring 47 mph at 6:56 a.m., according to Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer. The average wind speed was 38 mph, he said.

The high winds knocked out power in areas of Washington County as well as in Berkeley and Morgan counties in West Virginia and Franklin and Fulton counties in Pennsylvania.

In Washington County, 481 customers lost power, but electricity was restored by 5 p.m., Allegheny Power spokesman Guy Fletcher said.

Fewer than 100 City of Hagerstown electrical customers were affected, said Light Department Manager Terry Weaver. Power had been restored to most of those by 7:30 a.m., he said.


The high winds prompted a number of calls to the Washington County 911 Center.

At 6:15 a.m., an interstate directional sign blew down at the intersection of I-70 and I-81, according to dispatchers. No one was injured and the debris was removed.

Calls for wires and trees down came in from Oreback Road, Dam No. 4 Road and from several parts of Fairplay.

Hagerstown City Police said the wind set off a number of alarms.

The wind was created when cold, dense air moved into the region and pushed temperatures down.

When cold and warm fronts collide, the air swirls as temperatures even out, causing high winds, said National Weather Service meteorologist Andrew Woodcock.

The National Weather Service said a winter storm watch was in effect for the area tonight, with a mixture of freezing rain, sleet and snow beginning late in the evening.

The Weather Service said skies should be partly cloudy Thursday with highs in the lower to mid-40s.

Staff writer Scott Butki contributed to this story.

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