Thursday, March 10, 2016

Brief Southeast Sucker Review

Thursday, March 10, 2016
3:00 pm

That "Southeast Sucker" I blogged about last night stormed ashore early this morning, and delivered a sucker punch to a wider area of the region than I initially forecast. The system actually ended up coming a little closer to our region than the models showed, so the I-5 corridor got a good dose of wind as well. Here are some wind gusts from across the region as compiled by the Seattle National Weather Service.

The most impressive winds were at mountain sites. An anemometer at the top of Mission Ridge recorded a gust of 127 mph from the WSW this morning, and as you can see, both Mt. Baker and Crystal Mountain received gusts over 100 mph as well. Coastal headlands were the next windiest place, with Naselle Ridge on the southwestern Washington Coast hitting a staggering 104 mph and nearby Megler hitting 99 mph! Areas in the Northern Interior were quite windy as well, with many areas hitting 60 mph. Even the Central Sound got some action, with gusts approaching 50 at many locations around Seattle. Sea-Tac hit 44.

The map below shows some of the peak gusts recorded over the past 24 hours (from 5 pm Wednesday to now). As you can see, the mouth of the Columbia really got hit hard... Astoria had four separate gusts over 70 mph!

Credit: National Weather Service - Western Region Headquarters

You may have heard that there was a spectacular solar eclipse yesterday (an event worthy of its own blog). Although the eclipse itself did not affect us, it meant that there were abnormally high astronomical tides, since the sun and moon were in perfect alignment. Combine this with low pressure, strong winds, and high waves, and you've got a recipe for coastal flooding. Check out some of the flooding in downtown Vancouver yesterday!

Credit: Kirk Williams

There was plenty of coastal flooding in Washington as well. Check out some pictures of a road in Lummi Island being flooded this morning! Photos retrieved from the Bellingham Fire Department Twitter feed.

There was plenty of damage away from the water though. Take a look at what happened to this poor Home Depot in Bellingham! It's one thing to see trees down, but to see significant structural damage like this is pretty impressive.

Credit: KGMI Radio

With the North Interior and Coast taking the brunt of this storm, this was a classic Southeast Sucker event. It may have gotten breezy in Seattle, but there's no comparison to what we experienced here in the Seattle metropolitan area and what the Home Depot experienced in Bellingham.

It's hard for me to concentrate while writing this right now... I'm listening to the Donald talk about how he is a unifier. This debate is relatively boring compared to debates past.


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