|Courtesy of WeatherTap|
|National Weaterh Service|
The strong winds will be driven by two factors: (1) an intense pressure gradient between Draco's low pressure center, retreating to the northeast, and high pressure building in across the southeast; and (2) an unstable air mass (cold air aloft, heating of the surface by the sun) - which creates a tendency for the lowest air layers to "stir" or overturn. With 60 mph winds at about 5,000 feet, some of this momentum may be occasionally mixed down to the surface as strong gusts.
I see a couple factors that might mitigate high winds across the region. First, the models are weakening the low pressure center as it moves away from our region on Saturday morning, with the pressure gradient weakening throughout the day. Second, any cloud cover that develops as a result of the unstable air layer may help limit the amount of instability, and therefore mix-down of higher winds aloft. As we get closer to the event, NWS will either upgrade the High Wind Watch to a Warning, or downgrade it to a Wind Advisory. Either way, it's fair to expect gusts into the 40-50 mph range for several hours Saturday morning and into the afternoon. Highest wind gusts will be in elevated or mountainous area (remember that wind speed increases with height above the surface) and along the eastern shore of the Bay (winds pick up speed as they blow from west to east across the water surface). With foliage off the trees and soils that likely won't become saturated, any power outages in the Baltimore region will likely be isolated.
Here is the predicted maximum gusts (kts) from the NWS, for 10 AM Saturday morning: