Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Coastal Radar is Up!

September 21, 2011
10:44 P.M.

11:59 pm PST Sun 02 Dec 2007 Radar Image

The above picture was taken around midnight on Monday, December 3, 2007. I remember the day of this storm because it was one of the strongest storms I have ever seen in my life. This storm has since been known as the "Great Coastal Gale" of 2007. I think the word "gale" is a little too light... there were sustained hurricane-force winds on the coast and even higher gusts, with widespread gusts of 100 mph and gusts approaching 140 mph in many coastal places. And the rainfall was extraordinary. Bremerton, just west of downtown Seattle, received 10.78 inches of rain in 24 hours. Even more rain fell in the Olympics and Willapa Hills. Cushman Dam by Hood Canal picked up 17.4 inches of rain from the storm, while Rock Creek, a Weyerhauser site in the Willapa Hills, picked up 19.63 inches. Needless to say, it was an extraordinary event. More information can be found at a Forests and Fish website here, or at the Office of the Washington State Climatologist (OWXC) website here, under "The Great Coastal Gale of December 1-3, 2007." the Forests and Fish one talks more about rainfall, while the OWSC one talks more about wind. Both are great resources.

One thing that was significant about this event was that it showed the need for a coastal radar.This storm killed at least 13 people in Washington and Oregon. It is widely believed that those people could have survived if we had a coastal radar. If we had one back then, we could be able to give out advance warnings on the exact timing of the winds and intensity of the precipitation. Unfortunately, much of the middle coast was completely blocked, and detailed warnings could not be given.

After this storm, people realized the need, and Senator Maria Cantwell received funding for it. Go Maria Cantwell! 

Take a look at some radar pictures from today. Although we didn't see any rain, there has been a strong front offshore that has been giving rain to Vancouver Island. Take a look at the Camano Island radar below...

03:23 pm PDT Wed 21 Sep 2011

... and now the Langley Hill radar...

03:23 pm PDT Wed 21 Sep 2011

These pictures are very exciting to see! I'm ecstatic. I thought I'd miss the old "V," it had some sentimental value to me. Now, I don't miss it one bit. 

Thanks for reading you guys, I start Atmospheric Sciences 101 in one week! 

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