Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Warning: Major Storms Threaten the Pacific Northwest

Note:   I will update the situation at 10:30 AM Thursday, after the new model runs are in.   Heavy rain now falling over the southwestern slopes of the Olympics, with substantial precipitation over the rest of the region due to the incoming atmospheric river.
________________________________

Starting Thursday, we will enter a period of extraordinarily active weather with the potential for heavy rain, flooding, and a highly dangerous windstorm with the potential to be an historic event.  The coastal waters and shoreline areas could well experience hurricane-force gusts, with a lesser but serious threat for strong winds over the interior.  Keep in mind that there is still uncertainty in the forecasts, more so for the wind than the rain.

So much intense weather is going to hit us, that I don't know where to start...but let me try.

On Thursday afternoon, a strong Pacific cyclone, with a 982 mb central pressure will approach our coast, with a huge pressure gradient and strong winds to its south (see 5PM forecast of sea level pressure, surface winds, and lower atmosphere temperatures--in color below)

As the low swings north of us, it deepens further to 973 mb, with a very strong pressure gradient over Puget Sound (see map at 5 AM Friday morning below)

Winds along the coast and over NW Washington will be very powerful.  To illustrate, here are the predicted wind gusts at 2 AM Friday morning.  Gusts to 50 knots (57 mph) along the coast, near the Sand Juans, and over portions of Seattle.  Expect a lot of power failures.  Be prepared.

Associated with the low is a strong atmospheric river of subtropical moisture streaming across the Pacific and aiming right for us (see water vapor map at 11 AM Thursday).  Blue are very high values.


As the moisture rides over our terrain, heavy precipitation will result.  Here is the forecast 48-h total ending 5 AM Friday.  5-10 inches over the Olympics and the coast mountains of the Northwest.  1-2 inches over Puget Sound.

Now in most years, the events along would be impressive, representing one of the strongest events of a typical winter season.  But folks, this is just a warm up for the real action on Saturday.

A true monster storm, potentially as strong as the most powerful storm in NW history (the Columbus Day Storm of 1962) will be approaching our area on Saturday.  The UW WRF sea level pressure forecast for 5 AM Saturday morning shows the approaching cyclone.   The central pressure is an amazing 961 mb, with an unbelievably strong pressure gradient around it.


The predicted sustained winds (not gusts) at that time show 50 knots or more more wrapping around the low center.

During the next 12 hours the storm strengths further to 955 mb, the same as the extreme Columbus Day Storm. Sustained wind over 55 knots.
 Maintaining its strength, the low slides northwestward toward northern Vancouver Island.
This track is not optimal for the strongest winds over Puget Sound (the low would have to cross the NE Olympic Peninsula to do so and head towards Victoria), but the storm's large size and strength will bring 30-50 mph gusts around Puget Sound.  As shown in the sustained wind forecast for 7 PM Saturday, the winds are much stronger on the coast and over NW Washington  (like the San Juans).  

If the models are wrong and the storm's track heads further east, Puget Sound could get a very major hit with massive power outages and damage. This is a very dangerous storm.

As a check on this solution, I took a look at the ECMWF forecasts (ECMWF typically has the best forecasts).  As shown below, the same idea.

With such a storm expect HUGE waves over the eastern Pacific.  Here are the latest forecasts from the NOAA WaveWatch III system for 5 PM Sunday.  Wow.  12-14 meter (40-45 ft!) waves.  If you are near the coast, be very careful--although there should be some great wave watching in safe locations.


The Saturday storm is not only nearly as intense as the 1962 Columbus Day storm but shares a common origin:  both started as typhoons over the western Pacific.    The Columbus Day Storm had its origin as Typhoon Frieda, taking over a week to get across the Pacific (see track of the Frieda/Columbus Day Storm below)

Our Saturday storm started as Typhoon Songda, which is now moving towards us as it transforms into an extratropical (midlatitude) storm.   Both of these storms retained some of their tropical "juice" with lots of moisture and tight, strong low pressure centers.

To prove the tropical connection, below is a sequence of forecast maps of sea level pressure and pressure from the US GFS model. Follow the storm as it crosses the Pacific.





Scary similar to the Columbus Day storm except the track is further north and thus not as "favorable" for the strongest winds over Puget Sound.  And did I mention the rain?  Much more rain in the subsequent 48h that I showed above:

My head is spinning with the action that may be occurring around here.  Remember, although the model solutions are fairly stable now, there is still considerable uncertainty regarding the storm's trajectory and intensity.  The could shift north or south, with major impacts on who gets the big winds.  Consider that we are forecasting a storm that has to travel across the entire Pacific;  a hundred mile error in track greatly alters who gets strong winds.  But have your storm kits ready and keep track of the forecasts.  

Addendum at 6 AM Wed.

The infrared satellite imagery shows an amazing plume of moisture across the Pacific leading to Typhoon Songda.  Never saw anything like this:




_______________________________________________

I strongly support I-732, the revenue-neutral carbon tax swap, which help reduce Washington State's greenhouse gas emissions, make our  tax system less regressive, and potentially serve as a potent bipartisan model for the rest of the nation.  More information here.   I will be talking about I-732 on Sunday, October 16th at 11 AM at the Unitarian Church in Edmonds.

117 comments:

lhsouthern said...

Ok I'm convinced. I'm getting all my stuff together and restocking on propane and kerosene.

Matt The Troll said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stanfr said...

Ah man, and I had plans to climb Mt Olympus this weekend...should I still go, Cliff?

Pierre Sodbinow said...

Time to make a reservation at the Wickaninnish Inn this weekend!

Joseph Ratliff said...

For those interested, here are the details about the Columbus Day Storm (1962): http://www.climate.washington.edu/stormking/October1962.html

It had a closer track, plus according to this linked report, went to the South tip of Vancouver Island and inland

I'm not downplaying Cliff's report here ... just adding context for the Columbus event.


John Hedtke said...

Um, wow. Well, I always have loved living in the Puget Sound, so this is just one of those things where I'm going to have to say "Nature bats last!" and go find the candles and charge all the battery packs.

Thank you very much, Cliff.

trev said...

We turned our sailboat around yesterday so the bow points south. Putting fresh chafeguards on the dock lines today and securing the dinghy. The liveaboard life is so... relaxing? Thanks for all you do, Cliff.

Newman said...

Cilff,

You may not have been aware that Saturday is the opening day of deer season for rifle hunters.

I will be hiking into the backcountry of the Glacier Peak Wilderness just east of the Cascade Crest this Saturday to camp out for several days. Can you tell us anymore about what to expect in the more mountainous regions of the state?

Thanks!

DJ Mack Long said...

Is this storm gonna be worse than the one on 11/17/15? Because that one left a couple trees sitting on top of my house...

Jan Rolstad said...



Weird ! Weather Underground and The Weather Channel don't seem to have this storm on their forecast radar ( figuratively speaking). What's up with that?

Islandcats said...

Thank you! Any concerns for Puget Sound coastal flooding like we had in March and in December of 2012?

Erin Reetz said...

Thank you! Is there any concern about Puget Sound coastal flooding like we had in March as well as December of 2012?

Weatherfreak said...

Wow!! Can't remember seeing such an active pattern this early in the year! The last couple days have been so nice and peaceful, it's going to be real shocker. With all the foliage still on the trees, this could spell disaster for many of us if the storm on Saturday comes in closer like you said! With 3 potential wind events, will be a fun weekend for storm watchers around here. On a side note, with such an active pattern developing in the Gulf of Alaska, maybe the blob will take a nice beating and go bye bye by November. One can hope!

TeNgaere said...

You joke, right? :)

Ingram1225 said...

Thanks for the blog. Shared it on my North Whidbey Island Weather page on Facebook. How are the west slopes of the Cascade during a wind event like this? I'm camping near Arlington in a pop up. I can do moisture but trees falling is not my cup of tea.

Unknown said...

Maybe time to finally give in to preparedness and buy a generator

Rod said...

Thanks, Cliff!

Perhaps this will be the windstorm that rivals the Columbus Day storm. I'll be ready!

Scott K. said...

@Joseph Ratliff,

I've seen way too many 'cry wolf' scenarios in the last several years to expect this to be an event for the puget sound. I'll still prepare just in case, but these big storms never seem to pan out.

I did find it strange that there was no mention of the damage that Vancouver or parts of Canada may experience from a storm this size. Just because it's missing the puget sound doesn't mean anything less for those that are affected.

sbonds said...

Are the forecast maps available to the general public that you know of? It would be great to see the wind forecast at greater than 4km domain since I'm down here in Portland, just south of the cutoff for the wind forecast image included.

Unknown said...

@Stanfr, Olympus is a remote climb that comes with weather risks even without a forecasted incoming storm. The hike in is something like 17-20 miles. If you're caught in a storm that deep in the backcountry you will be completely on your own.

Looking at mountain-forecast, the summit forecast for Saturday reads 70 MPH winds, freezing temperatures, and heavy snow.

http://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Mount-Olympus-2/forecasts/2427

These are extremely dangerous conditions to be climbing in. I'd call it off unless the forecast radically changes in the next few days.

Jeff said...

"A true monster storm, potentially as strong as the most powerful storm in NW history (the Columbus Day Storm of 1962) will be approaching our area on Saturday."

You decide. :-)

Meredith said...

This morning the ECMWF has Saturday's storm passing over WA, batten the hatches if this is the forecast that plays out...

Professor Steffen Schmidt said...

It gets coverage of Trump & Clinton off your news but here in Iowa it's still them? Sad.

Paul said...

Big up check for your support of I-732.

My Copalis Beach PWS will be right in the teeth of these storms. https://www.wunderground.com/q/zmw:98535.1.99999?sp=KWACOPAL3
Paul Middents

ken clarke said...

What is the most likely wind direction in the San Juans?

tracksdc89 said...

It's about time! It's been so relentlessly dry around here ever since the end of March... this is our first event in over SIX months. That said, both that prolonged dryness and absence of any recent stormy weather might cause problems in terms of both lack of preparedness and flooding (as parched ground cannot absorb water as well). Of course, the utmost priority is to do everything we can to avoid any kind of storm-related human injury, so wake up everyone, the looooooooooooong dry period is OVER!

SK Hansen said...

So much for washing my car this weekend...

SK Hansen said...

So much for washing my car this weekend...

Jeanie Hellwich said...

Your mom would say, "Nooooo!" 😊

Stefan said...

should be called the Songda Squall

La Nada said...

Hahahaha! Before I read your name I was like ...wut.

Nida Dee said...

What the..?? NOAA has nothing happening Saturday? I'm so confused. Late Thursday, early Friday is a 'go' but not as insane as it looks here. HELP. Do I leave my huge trees behind of don't I?

David Eckols said...

Thank you Cliff for your blog, I love how you explain the facts and how easy it is to understand. There's one other observation that I think is valuable to consider:

I think both events (Oct 12 1962 and this coming Saturday Oct 15th) were very close to a full moon, which makes flooding even worse as rivers can't discharge as fast during the high tide period of that day (I understand the low tide will also be drastic, but the few hours of high tide will add more emphasis to this event). So would it make sense to assume the high tide on Saturday (at around 9:30pm) would be the riskiest time for flooding? assuming the low pressure hits at the same time (low pressure surge + high tide + onshore winds)

Thank you once again for your great report, please keep us up to date with any changes.

Dave

Unknown said...

Hi Cliff,
We plan to drive from Issaquah to Yakima Friday afternoon (5PMish) and drive back on Sunday afternoon. Will it be problemtic to cross Snoqualmie pass and get to central WA (Yakima)? How about on the way back on Sunday?

Thanks,
Bill

Theo and Zach said...

What does this mean for air travel? Do you think flights will be canceled?

TrickyCoolJ said...

Postponed my trip to ONP this weekend since the last time we tried to visit ONP and the Hoh we wound up at Kalaloch during the 8/29/15 strongest summer storm ever and the rangers had to close ONP. Would rather make the trip when the park has a higher chance of being open and a lower risk of dodging falling trees. Not exactly a relaxing trip off the grid.

Unknown said...

So... What does this mean for people in The Salem area of Oregon? If this in fact is true and will happen on Sunday.

Colleen said...

No idea what the commenters above are looking at when they say Weather Underground & NOAA aren't forecasting this. It's right there for the reading.

guntharr said...

Friend of mine found what looks like an autocorrect typo:

"Gusts to 50 knots (57 mph) along the coast, near the SAND Juans"

AdrianS said...

So Cliff would you think it is not smart to rent a cabin at Hobuck for this weekend to watch the waves?

Jared Allen said...

Great write-up on the tropical connection from the west Pacific and how it makes the transition into a strong Baroclinic system. Per the CIPS analogs and model pages, the 850mb V_Wind anomalies are near or greater than 6 standard deviations for the first system along the WA/OR coast. The moisture flux anomalies are also +5-6 standard deviations from riding the atmospheric river.

Plus, the National Weather Service is going a great job highlighting the expected impacts on their site (weather.gov/seattle) and on their facebook and twitter posts.

tracksdc89 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angela said...

If so, buy it now, before the panic buying sets in. I recommend one that runs on propane -- quieter and easier to store the fuel between uses.

The Animal said...

Weather Channel will cover the hell out of anything impacting the eastern seaboard. They dont cover the west until after the fact. Wunderground is owned by the Weather Channel.

tracksdc89 said...

All national media outlets are still squarely focused on Matthew. As important as covering that (now past tense) storm is (or should I say "was"), other weather has taken a serious "back seat". And, I can't help but comment on the intense media focus on East Coast events at the unfortunate cost of seriously underreporting those on this coast.

CascadeViewLoveAndWar said...

hate to be that guy but... "a historic event" not "an historic event"

codad said...

Do big storms like this have an effect on the surface of the sea floor? Would it effect a fault line like the cascadia fault? Just wondering.

Upupaepops said...

The "N" Hurrcane is well eyed up on the east coast, it shows on Cliffs last image.

Boy I think Hobuck would be a thrilling place to ride this one out. Olympus,not so much

Andrew said...

Cliff, we need an update!!!

Ingram1225 said...

True story

SmH said...

Thank you for this write-up. I'm planning on flying from Central Oregon to Seattle on Friday @ noon and then return to Central Oregon on Sunday on a 9 pm flight. What would you do, Cliff? Would you reschedule? I trust and understand it is only your opinion but I'd love to hear your answer to this. Thank you!

Joseph Ratliff said...

Here's NWS Seattle's forecast discussion for those interested:

http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/total_forecast/getprod.php?prod=XXXAFDSEW&wfo=SEW

(Updates at least 3 times a day, at ~ 4am, ~ 830am, and ~ 4pm ... sometimes one more update late in the evening around 9pm - 10pm)

Unknown said...

either is correct.

mle said...

I'm refreshing this page obsessively hoping for more news. I'm officiating an outdoor wedding on Sunday in Hood Canal! We're NW people, we prepared for chilly with a chance of drizzle. But this???

John Murphy said...

"Never saw anything like this"

does this mean...er... things have changed Cliff?

Asti said...

Careful out on the Sand Juans.

roy said...

If I-732 passes how much will it reduce global temperature?

windlover said...

Their updates are actually 8:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m., and 3:00 a.m. When it's a busy weather day/week their updates come out up to a couple hours late. Long term forcasts are generally only updated on the 3:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. reports.

Unknown said...

Thank you for the head up. Getting ready here in Victoria bc

remnant1978 said...

Heading for seatac. panic time. Will watch the storm unfold from the comforts of MSP. ��

Andrew said...

Isn't the ECMWF the one model that got the hurricane path right?
Right now it's the only one that says the storm is going to direct hit us.

Brian W. said...

I don't usually comment though I read every post and absolutely devoutly love your blog, Cliff, but when you of all people say you have never seen a moisture river like the one you see now, I stand up and take notice.

Going to sit down, tune in, and be ready for something very interesting.

Unknown said...

I've noticed that weather forecasters, Cliff included, tend to predict the worst that can happen, even if it is unlikely. That way, if it happens you'll be ready. If not, oh well. So it probably won't be a 1962-size storm. Relax.

TeNgaere said...

@Newman...

Regarding your hunting trip in Glacier Wilderness Area starting Saturday..

If you want to see what the mountain weather forecast conditions are, you might try using this web site.

Mountain Forecast.

http://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Glacier-Peak/forecasts/1500

I have set this for Glacier Peak at 4922 feet elevation...
Not sure what your elevation will be, but this will give you an idea.

Forecast is for Moderate to heavy Rain on Saturday changing to heavy Snow Sunday morning back to heavy rain in the afternoon.

Are you prepared for that?

If it were me, I would postpone my trip. :)


John D said...

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Seattle WA
330 PM PDT Wed Oct 12 2016

.SYNOPSIS...A warm front will spread rain into Western Washington
tonight and Thursday. Surface low pressure lifting north off the
Washington coast Thursday night will bring strong winds to the coast
and interior lowlands. Weak low pressure will move through the area
Friday, keeping wet weather in the forecast. A powerful storm
system, the remnants of a Pacific typhoon, will arrive this weekend
with the potential for damaging winds and flooding. Wet weather will
continue early next week.

&&

.SHORT TERM...An active weather pattern with a series of strong
frontal systems will affect the Pacific Northwest through the
weekend. Warm advection rain ahead of the first strong system can be
seen on radar just beginning to move onto the coast. Rain should
spread inland quickly this evening and become heavy at times
overnight and Friday, especially along south facing mountain slopes.
A very moist westerly flow pattern extending all the way across the
Pacific is interning high precipitable water from the tropics. The
combination of deep moisture and strong southerly flow will produce
heavy rain at times along south facing slopes of the Cascades and
Olympics. Rain amounts up to 5 to 7 inches could fall over prone
south facing slopes through Thursday evening, resulting in a flood
threat for a few rivers. See the latest hydro section below for
details.

Besides rainfall, a deepening sub 980 mb low lifting north off the
Washington coast will bring a round of strong winds to the coast and
interior lowlands late Thursday afternoon through early Friday
morning. Models differ on the details but generally agree on taking
the low into Vancouver Island later Thursday night. Most models show
at least +10mb PDX-BLI gradient which should be sufficient for at
least wind advisory strength winds in greater Puget Sound. The low
center will be closer to the coast and the north interior is more
susceptible to southeasterlies so high winds are likely in those
area. Since this will be the first blow for the Puget Sound area,
it was included in the high wind warning that runs from late
Thursday afternoon (coast) through early Friday morning. Wind gusts
in Puget Sound may only peak in the 45 to 55 mph range but damage
from down trees is more likely this early in the season.

Rain and wind will ease on Friday but a weak system will keep it a
bit wet and unsettled. The next much more powerful storm associated
with the remnants of Typhoon Songda will approach the region. Water
vapor imagery shows the typhoon already being pulled into the flow
driven by an nearly 200kt jet. Most models show the surface low
deepening as the system transitions to an extra-tropical cyclone.
There is somewhat better agreement that the low will deepen to
around 960 mb as it makes the turn northward inside 130w on
Saturday. The ECMWF brings the low right into Western Washington
while other models take the low into central Vancouver Island. The
newer 18z Nam and GFS are closer together taking the low closer to
the coast and deeper than the ECMWF which would be a very windy
solution. This worse case scenario could produce historically strong
winds across Western Washington and could generate swell close to 40
feet which may impact the coast causing coastal flood issues. Other
models like the Canadian are further offshore and would spare the
interior lowlands from the worst winds. Will need to watch this
system closely and suspect watch products for wind and coastal
flooding may be needed soon if model trends continue.

Oregon Web Solutions said...

Thanks for the heads up! We are ready...

Nida Dee said...

Alright... this is what I'm seeing on NOAA for my area.
http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lon=-122.6721550678097&lat=47.762566434560256#.V_7kSfkrJMy

Looks fairly easy to me... but I am not letting my guard down just in case.

Michael Smith said...

Jan Rolstad I saw this series of storms on the weather channel this morning (10 AM Eastern Time, 7 AM Pacific Time). I don't understand why we would get the information on it on the Atlantic Coast but it wouldn't be broadcast on the Pacific Coast. Maybe they mentioned it but they haven't gone into their usual (The sky is falling!) mode yet.

Justin said...

As a climber my opinion is you should stay the hell out of the backcountry this weekend.

http://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Glacier-Peak/forecasts/3213

Dave said...

Just got done framing my sons addition walls. Saw this and put in about six extra wall braces. Seen some strong stuff in the last fifty two years living in the area. Generator, water, food and a big prayer.

Justin said...

Personally I hope he was joking. If he wasn't he's not qualified to climber Olympus anyhow!

Kenna Wickman said...

Which is more accurate generally? The ECMWF or other models.

I was almost 7 living in Portland during the Columbus Day Storm. That one was much bigger in impact than the one that sank the Hood Canal Bridge in the late 70s or the Inaugural Day Storm in 1993. The Park Blocks in downtown Portland were impassible due to fallen trees. Trees bisected houses out in the suburbs. Power lines down everywhere. Our power was off for a week. If this one repeats that it will be a disaster for the Pacific Northwest. Be safe everybody!

One good thing - I've been harvesting chestnuts from my small grove of trees that I planted in the early 1990s but so have the Stellers Jays as well as the invasive Eastern Grey Squirrels. So I have to pick off the burrs a few weeks before fully ripe and ripen them in bags, getting the ones I can grab or knock down with about 18' of pole. There are still loads of nuts higher up that the Jays and Squirrels aren't starting on yet - these will get knocked to the ground by the high winds. I just hope that the trees themselves don;t get knocked down to the ground!

Justin said...

Screw it just soap it up tomorrow and let nature handle the rest!

Sandy said...

You decide if you want to risk being washed over by 40-ft waves....

Sandy said...

There are some very strong High Pressure ridges driving this monster toward us... I think everyone is watching to see if they maintain their strength or not.

Rashad said...

There is no guarantee that it will do anything to reduce global warming. There's weak enforcement and no cap on carbon emissions

Unknown said...

Weather Channel has this storm in the local headline coverage. Other media outlets are suggesting anyone who doesn't HAVE to commute, Stay Put.

Jameika Ware said...

Is this storm in California

CHARCUTERIAN said...

Thanks Cliff! And, thanks to my mom for hipping me to your blog.

Anneleen said...

Any advice about the Sol Duc area? Heading there Friday to stay in cabin but so far weather predictions show it being cloudy, some rain and mild winds


Does that sound right?

Seashore Dreams said...

And its Clam dig at night....... wind, rain and sneaker waves....

The Weary Zebra said...

This makes a lot of sense. Other than local weather advisories they push, they have said absolutely nothing about it.

The Weary Zebra said...

Please update us Cliff!

Carla Bennett said...

How will this affect Wenatchee? Please let me know
Thanks.

clive boulton said...

Cleaned my gutters, hope it helps.

Cedar Kennedy said...

My dad scaled and repelled off the Suzzallo library in the Columbus day storm. Not that I recommend it, but it's a bit of family lore that I'm secretly proud of. :)

Casitareina said...

Is this a situation where we should board up windows? That Columbus Day description is dire.

Unknown said...

My son's small wedding is planned in Arlington Wa on Saturday at 2pm. No caterers or deposits paid. We are planning on a "candlelight" service, but is it safe for guests to travel around western washington should we postpone?

Theauctiongal said...

Would you cancel a small wedding Saturday?

Joseph Ratliff said...

As far as I've seen on http://twitter.com/ScottSKOMO (he's really good), there is a possibility for an Oregon event out of this one now (landfall in Astoria). Historic Astoria windstorm if that pans out.

Pay attention to Scott's Twitter feed, he's really good with specific information when he is on, and shares it.

Devin said...

UW atmospheric sciences has a ton of forecats and data. you can make similar plots from the northwest modeling section of this page (it's the last link): https://www.atmos.washington.edu/weather/more.shtml

He's using the WRF-GFS model, which is in the upper left corner of the NW modeling page.

Christopher Clark said...

It's coming!

Richard Boyden said...

Thought I would share this about another storm coming

https://richardboydenreport.wordpress.com/2016/03/06/terrifying-judgment-on-america-as-revealed-by-jesus-and-why/

Unknown said...

NOAA has issued Warnings...

Message: NOAA-NWS-ALERTS-WA12561A0552BC.SpecialWeatherStatement.12561A160C60WA.SEWSPSSEW.cb993657c7bf2b9c90936281736ee84d from w-nws.webmaster@noaa.gov
Sent: 21:39 PDT on 10-12-2016
Effective: 21:39 PDT on 10-12-2016
Expires: 07:00 PDT on 10-14-2016
Event: Special Weather Statement
Alert:

...VERY STORMY WEATHER TO UNLEASH MULTIPLE IMPACTS ON WESTERN
WASHINGTON THROUGH THE WEEKEND...

AN IMPRESSIVELY STORMY PERIOD IS COMING UP FOR WESTERN WASHINGTON
FROM THURSDAY THROUGH THE WEEKEND. THE MAIN IMPACTS WILL BE FROM
FLOOD-PRODUCING RAINFALL AND DAMAGING WINDS. ALONG THE COAST...
GIANT WAVES AND COASTAL FLOODING ARE POSSIBLE THIS WEEKEND.
THE FIRST BIG INCREASE IN SOUTHERLY WIND WILL HAPPEN ON THE COAST
ON THURSDAY AFTERNOON...SPREADING INLAND ON THURSDAY NIGHT. THIS
WILL OCCUR FOLLOWING THE PASSAGE OF A DEEP LOW CENTER THROUGH THE
REGION. PLEASE REFER TO THE LATEST HIGH WIND WARNINGS FOR DETAILS
ON THE THURSDAY NIGHT STORM. HEFTY RAINFALL TOTALS ARE EXPECTED
THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING...RAINFALL AMOUNTS ARE EXPECTED TO BE: 1 TO
3 INCHES OVER THE INTERIOR LOWLANDS...2 TO 5 INCHES ALONG THE
COAST AND IN THE CASCADE MOUNTAINS...AND 4 TO 8 INCHES OVER THE
OLYMPIC MOUNTAINS. THIS WILL CAUSE RISES ON AREA RIVERS...WITH
FLOODING POSSIBLE ON A FEW. REFER TO THE LATEST FLOOD BULLETINS
FOR DETAILS.
FRIDAY WILL BE RAINY AND WINDY...BUT IT WILL SERVE AS A RELATIVE
LULL BEFORE A MORE POTENTIALLY DAMAGING STORM ON SATURDAY.
WE STILL HAVE MUCH TO LEARN ABOUT THE SATURDAY STORM. WHAT WE KNOW
IS THAT AN INCREDIBLY DEEP LOW PRESSURE CENTER...WITH ITS ORIGINS
TRACED BACK TO TYPHOON SONGDA IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC...WILL MOVE
INTO THE NORTHEAST PACIFIC AND PEAK IN STRENGTH ON SATURDAY.
WHAT REMAINS TO BE SEEN IS EXACTLY WHAT TRACK THE LOW CENTER WILL
TAKE. THIS WILL MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN HOW BADLY THIS STORM
IMPACTS WESTERN WASHINGTON. THERE IS A 1 IN 3 CHANCE OF THE LOW
CENTER DIRECTLY CROSSING SOME PART OF WESTERN WASHINGTON. THIS
WOULD BE A WORST CASE SCENARIO LEADING TO A HISTORICAL WINDSTORM
FOR NEARLY ALL OF WESTERN WASHINGTON THAT WOULD BE LONG
REMEMBERED.
THERE IS A 2 IN 3 CHANCE THAT THE LOW CENTER WILL PASS HUNDREDS OF
MILES OFF THE COAST...MAKING LANDFALL OVER CENTRAL OR NORTHERN
VANCOUVER ISLAND INSTEAD. THIS OUTCOME CONFINE THE MOST DAMAGING
WINDS TO THE COAST AND TO THE NORTH INTERIOR (AREAS NORTH OF
EVERETT)...BUT INLAND LOCATIONS SUCH AS THE PUGET SOUND REGION AND
THE I-5 CORRIDOR OF SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON WOULD EXPERIENCE THE TYPE
OF WINDSTORM THAT WOULD NORMALLY BE EXPECTED A FEW TIMES EACH
STORM SEASON. POWER OUTAGES AND TREE DAMAGE OVER INLAND LOCATIONS
WOULD BE LESS WIDESPREAD.
CHECK BACK REGULARLY FOR THE LATEST FORECASTS...WATCHES AND
WARNINGS. MAKE PREPARATIONS NOW FOR POWER OUTAGES...TREE
DAMAGE...AND OTHER IMPACTS. THE SATURDAY SYSTEM HAS THE HIGHEST
POTENTIAL FOR DAMAGE...BUT IT ALSO HAS THE GREATEST RANGE OF
POSSIBLE OUTCOMES.

Instructions:
Target Area:
Admiralty Inlet Area
Bellevue and Vicinity
Bremerton and Vicinity
Central Coast
East Puget Sound Lowlands
Eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca
Everett and Vicinity
Hood Canal Area
Lower Chehalis Valley Area
North Coast
Olympics
San Juan County
Seattle and Vicinity
Southwest Interior
Tacoma Area
West Slopes North Cascades and Passes
West Slopes North Central Cascades and Passes
West Slopes South Central Cascades and Passes
Western Skagit County
Western Strait of Juan De Fuca
Western Whatcom County
Forecast Office: NWS Seattle (Northwest Washington)

Nick Howard said...

Lol cool story!

wff255 said...

Here is some discussion from Dr. Jeff Masters on the Weather Underground blog. His blog is primarily about significant tropical storms, so for this event to mentioned in his blog is noteworthy:

Pacific Northwest bracing for the remnants of Typhoon Songda
Another high-latitude anomaly of the tropical type will make its presence felt in the U.S. Pacific Northwest and far southwest Canada this weekend. Typhoon Songda reached its peak intensity on Tuesday at an unusually far northerly latitude: 30.3°N in the Northwest Pacific, where it briefly became a super typhoon with top sustained winds of 150 mph. No longer classified as a tropical cyclone, Songda remained a powerful storm in the North Pacific on Thursday morning, whipping eastward through the North Pacific near the International Date Line with a central pressure of 996 millibars. Songda will be incorporated in a train of storms heading into the Pacific Northwest, and models agree that it will deepen at least into the 960 - 970 mb range as it approaches the Olympic Peninsula of Washington (or perhaps a bit further south, if the ECMWF model proves correct]. This is a classic set-up for very heavy rain and damaging winds across western Oregon and Washington, including the Seattle area. High wind warnings are already in effect from tonight to Friday for western Oregon and Washington, where gusts may reach 75 mph along the Oregon coast, 60 mph along the Washington coast, and 55 mph in the Seattle area. Even stronger winds are liable to materialize late Saturday and/or Sunday as the remnants of Songda approach. We’ll have more details on this potential major event on Friday.

Kent Morris said...

Here is a timely website that tracts the wind worldwide: http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20161013-this-map-will-show-you-the-windiest-place-on-earth-right-now

Dawn Tarpley said...

Makes me wish I was going to Long Beach this weekend instead of next week. I LOVE stormy weather on the coast, but I am also prepared with lots of kerosene and candles.

Lisa said...

I'm sure there are local blogs that cover those areas.

As to big storms not panning out, yeah that's the nature of coastal storms for ya. Same thing with Atlantic and Gulf hurricanes. I lived in Mobile, AL for much of my childhood. We learned that you prepare for every storm that has a track that could effect you. Big storm hits? You've got gas, canned goods, water, lights and batteries. You're goid. Big storm misses? You've still got gas, canned goods, water, lights and batteries, all of which can be used in day to day life or returned.

No one is crying wolf in this case. There is a wolf out there. It's just that no one can be completely sure who it's stalking.

John Marshall said...

Weather forecasters work their science, trying to sort out probabilities of where and when and how bad.

But forget all that.

You know it's going to be a really good storm when the End-of-Days people start chiming in on this blog (Richard Boyden).

Lisa said...

In the west, if it ain't on fire, they don't care.

Unknown said...

Compared to two hurricanes, a wind storm isn't near as trendy to cover.

Mystiana Rulean said...

Compared to two hurricanes, a wind storm isn't near as trendy to cover.

Aram Attarashany said...

Cliff, I'm curious if these storms would get the Blob on its death bed?

Sister Sojourner said...

Do you have any forecasting models for how this will affect the central Rocky Mountain West (Denver, etc.) as it moves across the nation??

The Weary Zebra said...

Yeah, I'd have rented out a place on the coast if I had known in enough time. I live for this stuff.

The Weary Zebra said...

From what I'm seeing, it's likely to Track up and west along the coast, but I could be wrong.

Bert Ashland said...

Should I delay my trip to Hurricane Ridge and the ferry ride to Victoria?

Unknown said...

Duh.

jennyt said...

Hunting deer? In that case please do go out in to the back country. Closer to the storm the better, and if the storm doesn't get you I hope the bears do! Murderer.

Deb Jones said...

If you do have to commute, stay away from the trains, and take the bus instead. Never forget OSO! If water drenched mountains can wipe out an entire housing development, mudslides that stop trains, can also swallow them up! Be safe, and use common sense.

Deb Jones said...

Stay safe. If you don't have to commute then don't. If you do by mass transit, take the bus, not the train. Don't forget OSO. A mountain soaked with rain, devoured an entire housing development, killing many. The trains are constantly stopped for days from mudslides. You don't want to be on one, if a Mudslide decides to take the train too. Be safe, and use common sense.

Richard Paul said...

Wow!

JP Freeman said...

Oh man! I'm 2 cups of coffee deep and in need of a funny comment. Sounded good but the author removed it :(

Robert Elleman said...

Cliff,

Have you come up with a name for tomorrow's storm yet?
https://www.checkiday.com/10/15

How about the 2016 National Chicken Cacciatore Day storm?

Casey said...

"2006 Chanukah Eve storm or the 1993 Inauguration Day Storm"

Am I the only one who gets tired of the cutesy names given to storms. On what day was Chanukah Eve in 2006? What was the date of Inauguration Day in 1993? These names don't tell us anything but an approximation of the date.

Why not just say "the storm of 2006"? Anyone who lived here will remember.

So what will the name be of the October 15th, 2016 storm? The "National Doughnut Day Storm of 2016"? Oh wait, I just looked it up: this storm will be "The White Cane Safety Day storm of 2016".

Gary Coy said...

Reminds me of the weather I expirienced quite frequently in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea while in the Coast Guard in the 1970's.