March 13, 2016

Max Winds

The storm is revving down now, so we have a good idea of the max winds.  Here are the max winds  (in mph)for the past 24 hr (ending 5 PM)   Most locations got into the upper 20s to 30s (mph), with more exposed locations getting into the 40s.  Some very well exposed locations (particularly near the Sound) or on significant hills got into the 50s and low 60s. Lighter winds on the east side (farther away from low and influenced by low-level easterly conditions)

For the general region, winds were much stronger (60s) over NW Washington (where they had proximity to the low and overwater acceleration).  Also some 60s and 70s on the coast.

About 45,000 Seattle City Light customers lost power and about 175,000 Puget Power folks.

Announcement: Public Talk: Weather Forecasting: From Superstition to Supercomputers

I will be giving a talk on March 16th at 7:30 PM in Kane Hall on the UW campus on the history, science, and technology of weather forecasting as a fundraiser for KPLU. I will give you an insider's view of the amazing story of of weather forecasting's evolution from folk wisdom to a quantitative science using supercomputers. General admission tickets are $25.00, with higher priced reserved seating and VIP tickets (including dinner) available. If you are interested in purchasing tickets, you can sign up here


  1. 25,000 out of power in Snohomish County, with Lynnwood and Lake Stevens hardest hit. It sure doesn't seem like it's revving down here yet

  2. Still gusting strong in Sooke. I'd give it a 7-8 on the beaufort judging by sea state. Low seemingly passed right overhead a couple hours ago with the switch from strong ENE to calm to strong WSW and heavy rain. Great weather day.

  3. Near Sumner - we lost power about 12:45pm and didn't get it back until roughly 12:15am. But we're thankful for the power, and grateful to Puget Power's crews!

  4. Cliff, I was skiing at Stevens Pass yesterday and there was very little wind up there. how can it be so windy at sea level, but not affect the Cascades?

  5. We got some big gust up in the Ferndale area. Quotes from the web page:

    Looking over the wind gusts recorded in Ferndale between 4pm and 6:30pm, there were four clocked at 81mph and nearly a dozen in the 70 to 80mph range.

    Never lost power at our place but know a lot of people in the area did... It was a pretty good one.

  6. My peak wind gust on south Vashon hit 42mph. I'm grateful we didn't get 60-70 mph gusts as our soils are saturated and the surrounding 100+ year old Douglas firs would have tipped over (5.07 inches this month and still counting and 45.61 since Oct. 1, 2015.)

    From WU:
    February 2016 has soared past all rivals as the warmest seasonally adjusted month in more than a century of global recordkeeping. NASA’s analysis showed that February ran 1.35°C (2.43°F) above the 1951-1980 global average for the month, as can be seen in the list of monthly anomalies going back to 1880.

    Air temperatures at the Longyearbyen airport (latitude 78°N) have been close to 10°C (18°F) above average over the past three-plus months. This is the single most astounding season-long anomaly we’ve seen for any station anywhere on Earth.

    Floods From up to 20 Inches of Rain Create State of Emergency in Louisiana

    The contiguous U.S. just experienced its warmest winter on record, said NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information on Tuesday, with the three-month meteorological winter period of December 2015 through February 2016 coming in tops for the 121-year period of record that began in 1895. Every state had above-average temperatures, and 36 states had a top-ten warmest winter on record. The most notable warmth was in the Northeast, where all of New England had their warmest winter on record.

    (Dec 2015)
    A historic and unseasonable flood has brought the highest flood levels ever recorded to the Mississippi River south of St. Louis, thanks to more than 10 inches of rain that fell over a three-day period that began Christmas Day.

    (October 2015)
    The end is finally in sight for the epic multi-day rains that have pummeled the Carolinas over the last five days. Areas through the triangle from Columbia to Charleston to Myrtle Beach were especially hard-hit this weekend

    May 2015: All-Time Wettest Month on Record for the U.S.
    It wasn’t a soggy May for the whole country, but where it did rain last month, it poured--enough to give the 48 U.S. states as a whole their wettest single month since records began in 1895...
    a 48-state average of 4.36”, last month beat out the 4.28” observed in June 1928 and the 4.24” from May 1957.

  7. 20 hours without power... this was most certainly NOT a fizzle. Are we done now, 2 huge winds in 4 days...I am so done. Yes, we left for Barnes & Noble, but Kitsap mall was out too.

  8. Curious - why is it so cold? It's been much colder recently than it had been all winter. A good testimonial to how cold it's been is the spring flowers and blossoms, which were sprouting like mad at the end of February, have now come to a complete standstill. What happened? Even with these southerly winds: where is this cold air coming from?

    1. It's not unusual to have some nice February weather followed by a cold wet March. It isn't unusual to see the last bit of snow the first week of April where I live at 1000'

  9. So we lost power at about 3:15 in the afternoon on Sunday. So we rushed up to the library where I had a book waiting. My initial plan was to relax after some spring cleaning by watching a DVD before making lentil soup for dinner. The soup was supposed to go with some Anadama bread that was being made in the bread machine. Which seems to need power (finished it on the stovetop in a Dutch oven, it came out very dense).

    So we ate dinner at that new restaurant by the Burke-Gilman Trail, which is two blocks from our house. Ever since City Light reconfigured the power distribution to support both the Children's Hospital and U-Village expansions we have had more power outages. Though the street just to the east of us does not lose power, and neither did the U-Village nor the businesses on Sand Point Way. Le sigh.

    So instead of comfort food at home followed by watching "The Martian" DVD, we sat in the living room reading books by flashlight after a very expensive but yummy meal. Our power came on at about 1am.

  10. tracksdc89,

    I think it is the instability. Cliff says that aloft temps reach a minimum in early spring, not winter (Cliff does that mean that in places like Mount Rainier's summit, March and April are the coldest months?)

    Good that the station is back. I agree, we sorely need some spring! We've had enough chilliness and storms for a while. We have not yet had our commonly seen late winter sunny stretch, which often (but not always) gives us 7 to 10 days of sun in February.


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