Stormy Weather to Unleash Multiple Impacts on Western Washington State Thursday Through the Weekend
by Mason PUD 3 on
October 12, 2016
The National Weather Service has issued a high wind watch, flood watch, and special weather statement to welcome the last vestiges of Typhoon Songda to the Pacific Northwest
(SHELTON, WA) -- Two storms are in line to hit our region: the first on Thursday and the second Saturday.
Online Updates Available on Mason PUD 3’s Twitter Feed & Facebook Page. Report outages to the outage hotline at 360-432-1533, 360-275-2833 (Belfair), or 360-861-4247 (Elma).
Before we get into details, here is information that will help you if we have outages.
Thursday’s storm will be ushered in by rain, and lots of it. Three to seven inches of rain is forecast for the Olympic Mountains, particularly the south facing slopes in Mason and Grays Harbor Counties. Rain in the lower elevations of Mason County may be in the one to three-inch range. It will be windy, with occasional gusts 40 MPH or higher. There’s a flood watch for the Skokomish River (naturally), with possible urban flooding.
Saturday could be a whole different story. Trees resting in saturated soils. Deciduous trees that haven’t lost their leaves. High, gusty winds. Not a good recipe.
Depending on which track the second storm takes into the Pacific Northwest, we could have an historic tempest. Not as much rain, but occasional wind gusts of 55 MPH or higher could be in the offing.
Here’s a quote from the National Weather Service that chills me: “…There is a 1 in 3 chance of the low center directly crossing some part of the state. This would be a worst case scenario leading to a historical windstorm that would be long remembered…”
First Storm: The University of Washington weather model puts the most intense winds beginning Thursday around the 7 PM time frame. The center of this low-pressure system kinda hangs out through the early morning hours of Friday.
Second Storm: The University of Washington weather model has the wind picking up late in the morning (between 10 AM and 11 AM), and easing up by late evening. This has the low center of the storm passing just off the Washington coast and plowing bullseye into Vancouver Island. A slight shift to the east would be, um, unfortunate for us.
By Sunday, the forecast shows it as wet.
The National Weather Service is all over this story:
High Wind Watch for Mason County & Western Washington State
Special Weather Statement for Extremely Stormy Weather
Flood Watch for Mason County – Skokomish River
A Little Ominous History
Today is the 54th anniversary of the Columbus Day Storm.
That disaster sprung from the remains of tropical storm Freda. The storm killed 46 people from northern California to Washington State and injured hundreds of others. It blew down or destroyed thousands of buildings and knocked out power to millions of people from San Francisco to southern British Columbia.
Wind speeds exceeded 150 mph along the Oregon and Washington coasts and topped 100 mph in the western interior valleys from Eugene to Bellingham. Since the storm damaged many wind instruments, the actual highest wind speeds could have been higher.
During that storm, the National Weather Service measured wind gusts up to 80 miles per hour at Sanderson Field near Shelton.
For Mason PUD 3 and PUD 1, it took six days to restore electricity to all customers.