1. September 18-19, 2003- On this day I was 7 years old and about to experience my first hurricane. She claimed the name Isabel and the whole day I was watching with much excitement the wind and rain increase in intensity. That night all of the trees in my Falls Church neighborhood were doing hardcore core salsa dancing. I saw a flash of lightning which I only recently realized was probably a power flash. The following morning, since I was only 7 years old and it was my first hurricane experience, I was expecting to see my slightly hilly neighborhood flooded with water from the storm surge all the way from the ocean. But when I looked outside there was no flooding and the rain had apparently stopped hours ago. Three trees in my neighborhood had apparently partied too hard during the night and had fallen over. A few more trees and limbs had fallen in every other surrounding neighborhood that I saw. I would gestimate based on the damage that I saw that winds gusted to 60-65 mph during the night.
2. June 29, 2012- Extreme heat and humidity with the temperature reaching 102F at KIAD and 104F at DCA along with dewpoints in the low/mid 70's made for a day with extreme instability while a derecho approached from the WNW. This created a feeling of excitement and adrenaline that kept me wired throughout the day. Of course the derecho came that night with what I estimated to be 50 to 60 mph wind gusts in my neighborhood (which was pretty much one of the least affected areas around DC when it came to wind reports with areas within a mile of me getting close to if not hurricane force wind gusts. (71 mph at KIAD, 79 mph at Reston) Still enough to get some adrenline pumping though.
3. October 29, 2012- On this day Hurricane Sandy married a strong trough at a latitude farther south than the latitude we usually see these marriages. This causes Hurricane Sandy to make an unusual left hook into New Jersey that evening. Wind gusts of 60 to 80 mph were expected in my neighborhood that evening however this storm ended up being one of the most overhyped storms at least for MY neighborhood. The same definitely can’t be said for areas further northeast, especially places like New Jersey and Long Island, New York. That night my neighborhood received some wind gusts up to 50 mph, just a regular northeaster strength wind in my book.