Monday, November 22, 2010

Winds

The snow is still going on..although generally light--and will end during the next 4-5 hrs. The reason is that the circulation aloft is right above us.

The winds tonight have been extraordinary...particularly over the NW portion of the state and over Puget Sound. Gust have been as high as 40-55 mph at Bellingham, Friday Harbor and the East Strait Buoy, and with temperatures in the lower 20s, the wind chills are below zero. Here is the latest gusts from Friday Harbor...just amazing...over 50 mph.



There have been substantial number of trees and branches knocked down by the strong northerlies and several power outages have been reported (see example below from city light)


I biked home today and it was an intense experience--rarely bicycle in blizzard, and sometimes whiteout, conditions.

The big issue now is cold, wind, and icing. The northerlies pushed down late this afternoon and the associated cold temperatures rapidly froze up bridges, since there is little conduction of heat from below. With temperatures in the mid to low 20s and dry air the slush, snow, water mixture at the surface will completely freeze tonight, except where sufficient deicer has been applied.

Tomorrow should be clear and sunny...but cold. However, if the snow is removed from roads then the sun will finish the melting and the highways will improve rapidly.

22 comments:

Karima said...

Pretty windy and drifting in Mountlake Terrace. Shoveling snow from the driveway but it gets more snow in an instant.

It is so beautiful. Thank you to those who already have their Christmas decorations on.

It brings back strange memories of 2008...

Frank Blau said...

Great posts Cliff!!

Can you also post links to those graph products?

Frank Blau said...

Hi Cliff!

Great posts! Can you also post the links to those graph products?

Frank

muckabout said...

I live in Kingston, Washington and we have almost a foot of snow! Unbelievable! The wind has pushed the snow up all the way to the door under the porch cover. It's very dry snow and I brushed it off with a large broom.

It's beautiful though.

David said...

Pals out in "the shadow" have nowhere to hide in these conditions. I've heard "nearly two feet" up on Olson Rd. S. of Sequim, and the shoreline is getting pounded and drifted. My weather station just recorded a 43 mph gust from the North at 9:24 PM, luckily tide seems to be dead low.

Orcas George said...

We have been pounded by wind all day on Orcas Island. Lumi reported gusts to 70 and I'd believe that we have had a couple of those. Our house is quite solid but it has been shaking, and I have seen the windows distending. Scary stuff. It is certainly the most sustained wind I have seen in 12 years here.

I'm sure I am going to be busy with my chainsaw soon. At least the power has stayed on for the most part (one hour disruption) which is a great credit to OPALCO and their policy of hardening the island's power system against windstorms. In the good old days a storm like this would knock out power for a week.

Here is a video clip of the storm from our house. It got much worse later.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugIq6PC-Vvo

David said...

Pals out in "the shadow" have nowhere to hide in these conditions. I've heard "nearly two feet" up on Olson Rd. S. of Sequim, and the shoreline is getting pounded and drifted. My weather station just recorded a 43 mph gust from the North at 9:24 PM, luckily tide seems to be dead low.

Anna said...

If the highways melt tomorrow, could they freeze over again for the evening commute? I'm a Bothell campus evening student who lives in Seattle, and I don't want to risk driving or busing up there if my commute home was anything like tonight's!

JewelyaZ said...

I don't understand how on earth Bellevue School District thinks the roads will be clear after just a 2-hour delay. I live near Phantom Lake, and careful observation shows 1.5 cm of ice on the road in front of my house and 2 cm of ice on the larger road a block away. No way that is going to melt out by 10:30 since temps are not going to go above freezing.

Cliff, you've done a good job keeping us informed throughout this storm despite the challenging conditions. Thanks for what you do, I appreciate it.

Wisepunk said...

I just saw what I believe to be thundersnow over the sound. I was on my deck on Harbor ave watching the wind blow and the sky flashed. I heard a very distant thunder, very muted. My deck faces across the sound at magnolia. I wonder is there any way to tell if this really was a rare storm event? The flash was weird, like it flashed from everywhere at once.

Russ said...

6:30 a.m. and the winds are still roaring on Alki Beach in West Seattle. Too dark to see much, but our Sound-facing windows are getting coated with sea spray.

windlover said...

Well...that was interesting! Out here in Eatonville we ended up with at least 18 inches....probably more...hard to say because of the wind blowing it around! Sooooo beautiful! The car is almost buried....actually...everything is almost buried! LOL! Finally stopped totally dumping at around 3:00 AM....Wow!

Ferdi said...

Brutal winds here on Sinclair Island all night long. Many trees down. Not as bad as the arctic express of December 30, 1990, but still impressive.

Carl said...

Insane winds last night in Ferndale. BLI shows gusts up to 55, but I swear some of the gusts around midnight must have been around 70.

Megan said...

We feel lucky to have survived the windy night on Mt. Dallas on San Juan Island - fun to see the Friday Harbor winds on your blog. Our Davis recorded a gust of 53 at about 7pm - and our temperature went to 16, with a maximum (minimum?) wind chill of -24, by whatever algorithm the Davis uses. But the power stayed on and the pipes didn't freeze, so we feel pretty good!

Fleetwood said...

Since most high winds around here come from the south, I wonder if northerly winds have a greater potential to result in downed trees? Plus the trees are probably heavy with accumulated snow and ice.

Christopher said...

This fall's storms have confirmed one thing we should never forget -- that no matter how smart we are, and no matter how good our technology, Mother Nature always has the last word.

Bryan said...

-2 degrees at Hurricane Ridge. http://www.nwac.us/weatherdata/hurricaneridge/10day/

-12 at Camp Muir. http://www.nwac.us/weatherdata/campmuir/10day/

natchrl8r said...

You Seattleites and "Southerners" have all the luck with your snowstorm! We still have the same old snow (2-3 inches)and ice from Friday night in Bellingham with just a confectioner's dusting from Monday. The wind did try to knock the house over and is still blowing this morning. Roads are still a mess though they finally did some sanding Monday. I'm hoping for some fresh on Thanksgiving before it all turns back to rain. Keep us posted, Cliff!

Fleetwood said...

We had almost no wind in Bellevue, weird.

Matt said...

Who else is VERY interested to talk about late Wednesday and Thursday? I'm familiar with the whole "it'll change to rain forecast", which sometimes happens, and sometimes doesn't.

In general, it seems as if the models have underestimated the cold and I'm curious to see what they're really saying now about Thanksgiving. Looks like a stormy Thanksgiving regardless.

JewelyaZ said...

Wisepunk, you probably saw a transformer blow.

In Phantom Lake, Bellevue, our winds maxed out at a 23 mph gust. Nothing all that impressive; the road ice is the real story here.