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How to Prepare For Unexpected Maryland Weather

Christi Larson, Staff Writer

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The D.C., Maryland and Virginia (DMV) area suffers from very inconsistent weather patterns. One day it will be below freezing, and the next a person can walk out of the house in shorts.

These constant up and down temperatures mean the inevitable storms are going to be very severe, only to lead to a detrimental aftermath if you do not know what to expect and how to prepare for the worst.

When bad storms are on the radar, it can be easy to overlook them until you have a tree going through your house, or you find yourself without power for days.

By the time March comes around, it usually starts to warm up and snow calms down, but that was not the case this year. To no surprise in 2017 the weather continues to be very unstable, causing bad snow storms like the storm that occurred mid March on the 14. One day it will be sunny and 80 degrees then the next week it’s cold and snowing.

The cherry blossoms are something that many people in the D.C. area look forward to every year, and people travel from out of state and even out of the country to see them. However, the snow and ice storm that the D.C. area experienced mid March could put those cherry blossoms in jeopardy.

According to nbcwashington.com, “This is the first time in the trees’ 105-year history that they will not reach peak bloom.”

Cherry blossoms are important to many, and this late snow storm caused more than just the temporary joy students felt when they got a day off of school. It caused a historical devastation, the loss of the cherry blossoms in the spring. When the cherry blossoms bloomed this year they did not bloom fully and only stayed for a short period of time.

“As far as a significant warmup goes in the Northeast, I think you have to hold off until late April and May,” AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said in an article entitled 2017 US spring forecast: Winter won’t quit in Northeast; Severe weather to explode across Plains.

This type of weather pattern is consistent with the weak La Niña conditions that occurred in this past winter. La Niña is when a cooling of  water in the equatorial Pacific occurs at irregular intervals. This is then associated with widespread changes in weather patterns complementary to those of El Niño, but less extensive and damaging in their effects.

According to AccuWeather, in May it is expected that most of the U.S. is going to experience above average temperatures.

By saying how majorly the weather is changing in the span of 24 hours it suggests that in Maryland the weather is unpredictable and learning how to prepare and what to watch out for is the only solution.

Sophomore Edward Eckroth has lived in different states and has experienced Maryland weather first hand but he does not seem as affected as most due to his prior experiences with the weather in Massachusetts.

“The weather is colder in Massachusetts rather than here, it’s a lot warmer here” Eckroth said.

As spring continues, the likelihood of having severe thunderstorms increases, and with this unpredictable weather it seems as if anything can happen. Trees are one of the biggest contributors to property damage during storms often costing thousands of dollars of contents loss as well as repairs.  

Eckroth was unaware about precautions that should be taken when a storm occurs and feels that storms are not a big concern, despite his own home getting damage during a storm in this past year.

“Storms aren’t usually bad enough to do damage to the house but if it does, usually we just call a repairman to come fix the problem and I don’t think there is much that can be done, because all houses are insulated so that they maintain safety even within storms,” Eckroth said.

If you encounter a severe storm, stay indoors and away from trees, preferably in a basement away from windows. When you do this you are least likely to get injured by and flying debris or get struck by lightning. One of the most important things to do is to make sure you bring a phone or radio or some kind of device to stay aware of what is happening and listen in case you need to  evacuate or any other safety precautions need to be taken.  

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How to Prepare For Unexpected Maryland Weather