November 09, 2021

Tornado Warnings, Power Outages and More

 An exciting weather day. 

The National Weather Service put out a tornado warning for Kitsap County through Bainbridge Island, including telling folks to TAKE COVER NOW!

And for some reason, the warnings caused smartphones to beep all over central Puget Sound.

There was no tornado observed as far as I can tell.  The warning was based on the radar showing intense precipitation (including hail) and the Doppler radar capability hinting at some rotation.  The image below shows the intense radar return and the bottom panel shows the Doppler velocities, which suggested....but was not definitive-- in indicaing rotation (the dark green and whitish color adjacent to each other near the lightning symbol).


Right now, a band of heavy rain and some thunder are moving through (see current radar below, reddish colors are the most intense).



The National Weather Service has a special weather statement out right now regarding the thunderstorms.


And then there was the wind.

A very strong front came through around 7 AM over central Puget Sound, with winds gusting to around 50 mph.  The strongest winds occurred over about 45 minutes, but that was enough to take out power to tens of thousands of customers.

My power went out, right in the middle of a radio interview with John Carlson.

And before the front did its damage, a large pressure difference across the Cascades resulted in 30-45 mph gusts from the east over the western slopes of the Cascades and the eastern suburbs of Seattle.  Thousands lost power.  

If you are curious, here are the strongest winds observed around the region today so far.  Lots of folks experienced gusts more than 40 mph...a speed associated with damage to trees and power failures.  Above 50 mph, damage is guaranteed.


The weather action is hardly over.  Expect lots of precipitation later this week as a potent atmospheric river brings massive rain and then snow to the Northwest.

At least we won't be talking about drought anymore.

Announcement:

I will be doing a book signing and dinner event at Ivar's Salmon House in Seattle on Wednesday, November 17th (6 PM).  You can come just to purchase a book and get it personalized or you can stay for a special dinner, where I will be giving a weather talk.   More information on the event is found here.  You need to make reservations for the dinner (only 80 spaces available). And information about the new edition of my book is here.


14 comments:

  1. Stepped out pf my front door, here in SEverett,to get a coffee...whoa!...the wind was very was very strong, blowing copious amounts of rain sideways!...My recently cleaned gutters could not deal with the downpour...as I resolutely drove my SUV to the coffee stand, the raindrops were of the "pre-snow/hail" variety, challenging my wipers..but the tempest began to dwindle by the time I was parked in an empty lot, just enjoying the pure blast of our NW "Mother Nature " temper tantrum...I love our unpredictable, but ever-changing weather, at this time of year!

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  2. Not giving you a hard time, Cliff, but I'm curious to hear the science behind your previously incorrect forecast (headline from 11/7: "the Tuesday storm fizzles out"). Here in Northeast Seattle, winds were high, so much so that multiple trees fell and closed down Roosevelt Ave and Lake City Way for hours. This is the biggest storm I can remember since the big one several years ago where the power was out for 3 days.

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    1. Most likely, you experienced a convergent zone happening as it often appears between N 85th and Everett and it's due to the winds having to go around the Olympics and then converge again around the north end of the Kitsap peninsula or across the water or online near Edmunds and when it does, it often stretches well past Seattle to the eastern parts of both King and Snohomish counties..

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  3. An interesting weather day indeed! It was certainly blustery in Shoreline at 7AM. Later, the rain was coming down in sheets, which I don't recall seeing since I was in Indiana. The afternoon storm knocked out power to a good chunk of west Shoreline. Then, relative calm and some sun breaks.

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  4. An interesting weather day indeed! It was certainly blustery in Shoreline at 7AM. Later, the rain was coming down in sheets, which I don't recall seeing since I was in Indiana. The afternoon storm knocked out power to a good chunk of west Shoreline. Then, relative calm and some sun breaks.

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  5. Seems like the ones that "fizzle out" always seem to have an ace up their sleeve. Noon around Central Kitsap was quite a show.

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  6. The Olympic rainshadow did its thing again in areas around Port Angeles. At my home it was sunny and calm in the morning with rain moving in during the afternoon. No wind.

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  7. Any chance there was a tornado in Auburn? We found a fairly large inflatable swimming pool in our yard and so far we haven't found an adjacent neighbor missing it!

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  8. In Tacoma, lights blinked about 3 times last evening and I was in bed by 10pm. Then awoke just shy of 5AM for the day, but awoke to pee at 2am and I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary then. Lights still on.

    At 5am, I got the coffee on, did the potty and while awaiting for the coffee to brew, I had the lights wink once and while at my desk, the winds picked up and I could see it pushing against my window and could hear the winds leak in past my window and it rained good early this morning. The lights winked once more during that time, then all was OK. Never saw any warnings of a tornado or anything else, didn't even know it had happened until later today at work.

    This has been an interesting wall weather wise so far but so far, Tacoma has missed the brunt of it, outside of some very heavy rains at times and that's it.

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  9. I wish your comment regarding no need to mention the drought anymore was prescient, but alas, they keep on banging that drum here 24/7. This, despite torrential rains for most of the past few weeks.

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  10. Aha! so it was the Professors own fault out power went out on us:
    "My power went out, right in the middle of a radio interview with John Carlson."
    The weather gods were trying to cancel-culture this negative feedback loop [wink]

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  11. Hi Mr. Mass, I look forward to your predictions on lowland snowfall this year. Thank you!

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  12. There was a funnel cloud to the water in the straits of Juan de Fuca

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  13. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/tornado-ubc-confirmed-1.6241724
    Tornado at UBC and Georgia Strait

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