8:30 PM I don't know how long I will have connectivity: my power is flickering, strong gusts are periodically buffeting the house, and I can hear large branches snapping close by. Some flashes are visible on the horizon: a sure sign of blowing transformer fuses.
The gusts are amazing....you can hear them several seconds before they hit-- a roaring sound that grows closer and then arrives with my house groaning and the swish of air passing buildings and trees. Gusts are associated with the turbulent mixing of strong winds aloft down to the surface.
The latest Seattle City Light Windwatch wind map shows plenty of winds between 30 and 45 mph, and stronger winds have hit Sea-Tac, Olympia, and other locations.
6300 CityLight and 63000 Puget Sound Energy customers are out of power at this time...and folks we have not hit the peak of this yet. The north-south pressure gradient in the Sound is still increasing.
One hour later (9:38 PM, 14,500 City Light customers and 79,000 Puget Sound Energy customers had lost power
The winds are going to hit suddenly and hard during the next few hours if you are in Puget Sound country.
Strong winds reached Olympia and now Tacoma (6:30 PM), with gusts to 48 knots in Olympia last hour.
Strong winds are descending to the surface rapidly. Here are the winds above Seattle-Tacoma, with the left most reports at 6 PM. 30 knot wind were only a few hundred meters above the surface at this point in time.
Puget Sound Energy outage maps tell the story...lights started going out very rapidly when the winds surged in.
The latest forecast from the NOAA/NWS High Resolution Rapid Refresh System suggests Seattle will feel the winds during the next hour (by 8 PM) and they will be strongest around 10 PM (here is the forecast gust map from HRRR). 50-60 knots over the water, and 30-40 knots over land.
Feel free to leave comments about the winds if you want to share your observations.