Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Powerful Storm

The storm is now is moving into Vancouver Island and the model forecasts verified quite well. Below is the latest infrared satellite picture...you can clearly see the low center. Beneath that is the visible satellite photo at 5 PM. Really impressive... you can see the swirling clouds and the strong front that had just passed through Puget Sound.
The winds did not disappoint. Destruction Island off the NW Olympic coast hit 72 knots (see below)...that is 83 mph! Hurricane strength gusts (to be fair hurricanes have sustained winds greater than 64 knots)

A number of the coastal buoys had gusts of 50-55 knots (58-63 mph) with similar winds at some exposed coastal locations).

Winds are really surging now over NW weather, with several locations in the area from N. Whidbey to the San Juans being hit by 40-60 mph gusts. Take Point Wilson on the NE tip of the Olympic Peninsual for example--almost up to 50 kts! (see below)

Even over the waters of Puget Sound, things are pretty wild tonight...check out the latest ferry observations from the Fauntleroy-Southworth ferry-- 38 knots in mid-channel but only 8 knots downstream of Vashon Is....and even less over land.
This is something you should never forget..the winds blow much harder over the water. We are all very lucky to have weather observations from the WS Ferries, a great teacher and promotes marine safety.

There have been a number of power outages over the region affecting thousands of customers. If any of you have interesting wind reports, please report them in the comments below. Here is a max wind collection from the National Weather Service:

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEATTLE WA
1240 PM PDT THU MAY 20 2010

..MAXIMUM PEAK WIND GUSTS FROM AROUND WESTERN WASHINGTON WEDNESDAY
AND WEDNESDAY NIGHT...

OFFICIAL LOW LAND AIRPORT OBSERVATION SITES.

QUILLAYUTE 60 MPH
HOQUIAM 60 MPH
WHIDBEY ISLAND NAVAL STATION 49 MPH
BELLINGHAM INTERNATIONAL 49 MPH
TACOMA INDUSTRIAL 47 MPH
FRIDAY HARBOR 43 MPH
EVERETT / PAINE FIELD 43 MPH
SHELTON 41 MPH
ARLINGTON 37 MPH
MCCHORD AFB 36 MPH
SEATTLE FORECAST OFFICE 36 MPH
PORT ANGELES 35 MPH
RENTON 32 MPH
OLYMPIA 32 MPH
BOEING FIELD 31 MPH

NATIONAL WEATHER SPOTTER REPORTS
AND MESOWEST

ENUMCLAW 65 MPH
OCEAN SHORES 59 MPH
PORT TOWNSEND 56 MPH
LA PUSH 55 MPH
BELLINGHAM 54 MPH
BOTHELL 51 MPH
SANDY POINT 49 MPH
COPALIS BEACH 48 MPH
LYNDEN 43 MPH
CHERRY POINT 40 MPH

MOUNTAIN OBSERVATIONS

HURRICANE RIDGE (RAWS) 118 MPH
HURRICANE RIDGE (NWAC) 83 MPH
MOUNT BAKER (NWAC) 78 MPH
WHITE PASS (NWAC) 55 MPH

MARINE OBSERVATIONS
DESTRUCTION ISLAND 70 MPH
TATOOSH ISLAND 62 MPH
SMITH ISLAND 52 MPH
POINT WILSON 50 MPH
WEST POINT 40 MPH

$$

9 comments:

Jim said...

3 Miles NNE of Monroe, the wind really got going in the early afternoon, but by the early evening, it was gone, and other than some very heavy rain squalls, it's been pretty calm here. I guess the only winds we got are the gap winds coming through Stevens Pass as the low passed by.

smokejumper said...

As a weather enthusiast, I must say that was an eerie but beautiful storm on satellite.

First, those ferry obs. readings are genius. Cool.

Second, on sat. you can see the low make a 720 spiral. Cool.

Third, I knew a couple days ago that such a stark temp. differential and it being May, there would be convection.

5pm an intense rotating wall cloud of squally storms hit Yakima. Very rare. Raced across the basin. 300 yard wide tornado NE of moses lake picked up a 20 foot barn and relocated it. Cool.

How weird would it be to step outside and say hey, didn't that barn use to be over there!?!

Ross said...

I was sailing at Shilshole tonight. It was fairly calm until the front and heavy rain arrived around 4:30. We sailed in the post frontal breeze, 15-20 knots with a little sunshine, from 6:00-7:00 when we had a squall line with around 25knot winds come through. We were anticipating some wind and a little edgy all night but had a very nice sail on a fast boat.

smokejumper said...

PS. Rattlesnake Mt. 3000+ ft. My local profiler. 7pm, 81 mph G 100 WSW.

M. said...

I was struck by how quickly everything changed today. The morning was fantastic. Seems like we usually get much more visual cues in the sky of approaching storms... or maybe it's usually overcast so the storm hitting isn't so abrupt seeming.

I've been doing quite a few outdoor projects lately and the radar has been a big help. I was pretty surprised when I looked over the last couple of days and found it was down.

While I'm at it, just want to say your blog is great and that the time lapse video of weather over the Olympics you posted a few weeks back was dope!

Josh said...

Bellingham just made it into wind advisory criteria for a couple of hours... (official)....

Jessica said...

Smokejumper : what were you doing on Rattlesnake at 7pm? !!! Must have been wild up there =)

garyLambda said...

last night using the weather underground radar map

http://www.wunderground.com/wundermap/?zip=98104&wmo=99999

I could see that the rain was stopping in Tacoma at 5pm, and by 5:30 crossing Mercer Island it was gone. The I-90 bridge was still a tough bicycle ride with what was recorded on the WSDOT site as gusts to 30+. But once on the island the bicycle trail is protected, and in fact I was able to remove my rain gear for the rest of the ride home.

If I could have waited that extra 1/2 I bet I could have ridden home dry.

smokejumper said...

Jessica; Rattlesnake Mt 3000ft is near Hanford and is more of a isolated hill. I just like checking its obs. because it gives insight to my local 925mb flow. The only 100+ gusts I've seen so far this year, both happened this month.

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Traffic/weather/recentweatherdata.aspx?id=474