WeatherWatcher: High Wind Warning Issued, Second and Third Storm follows

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued a High Wind Warning for the entire Puget Sound lowlands, this includes Shoreline and Lake Forest Park. The warning is in effect from Thursday evening at 6pm until Friday morning at 7am. Winds are expected to be sustained at 20-30mph with gusts up to 55mph. The peak of the winds will occur likely between 11pm and 2am Thursday night into Friday morning.

This will be about as strong as our two strongest windstorms last spring and August 29, 2015, with the added problem of leaves still attached to all the branches. Wide spread tree damage is likely which of course will cause power outages.

Thursday night's storm is just the warm up. Saturday afternoon through Saturday evening, retainments of Typhoon Songda will approach the coast.

Pacific Storms lined up on this Water Vapor Satellite image of the Pacific Ocean.
Image by National Weather Service

Various forecast models have great uncertainty as to where the storm will land on Saturday. They have seemed to nail down how strong this storm will be -- the central low pressure is expected by some models to be as low as the Columbus Day storm October 12, 1962. For those who watch a barometer that would bring the pressure down to about 28.2 inHg. This is a very serious storm and if it tracks in the direction that two of the more reliable forecast models are predicting, we could have a very historic storm on our hands.

Several possible storm track model forecasts for Saturday.

Rain: Added with all the wind, we have some serious rain on the way as well. Rain will start falling around midnight Wednesday night and continue off and on through Sunday. Total rainfall amounts through the weekend are expected to be between 3-5 inches, which is more rain than we typically get in the entire month of October. Urban flooding is likely especially as storm drains are blocked by tree debris. If you have a local storm drain that is getting blocked by debris, if safe to do so, try to get it clear with a shovel or other none-destructive garden tools.

Bottom line: Be prepared for the most significant event since at least December 2006, possibly rivaling the storm of a lifetime. At the best case, we'll just have two moderate windstorms. The second storm on Saturday however has a serious potential to hit us very hard. Some power outages could last over a week, so be prepared for that possibility.

I will post more updates as forecasts get better and watches/warnings are issued for the Saturday storm. There's another storm on the horizon for Tuesday that I am also watching closely.

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