A couple of weeks back we mentioned that the ‘Neutral’ weather pattern setting up for the Puget Sound region this fall/winter had a decent probability of producing some ‘non boring’ weather conditions. It seems Mother Nature took her cue-call and is charging straight to center stage.
Bring on the stormy weather
The first of two strong storms rolled through the Snoqualmie Valley, Thursday, October 13, 2016, bringing with it a couple of inches of rain and some breezy conditions. As Snoqualmie Valley wind standards go, the winds associated with this first storm probably weren’t enough to make longtime residents take notice, but weather forecasters warned Friday morning and afternoon would still feature active, stormy weather.
As advertised all week-long – Saturday is billed as the main storm event. And it seems many residents have received the message based on the reported long lines at Snoqualmie gas stations, with folks filling up their cars and generator gas cans.
And Friday was active weather day as predicted. Most areas of the Valley saw heavy rain and blustery conditions through the afternoon. The Mt. Si Senior Center had a tree and lots of broken limbs down, North Bend Elementary picked up a 55mph wind gust and www.northbendweather.com recorded 1.3″ of rain by4PM.
Enter the Main Storm Event
After a slight lull in the stormy weather later Friday into Saturday morning, a second stronger storm, with remnants of Typhoon Songda that originated in the western Pacific, will charge toward Washington… and on what weather forecasters call a ‘worst-case scenario’ track for a damaging wind event in the greater Puget Sound area.
With Puget Sound fall and winter storms, wind speeds are always depends on the exact track of each storm. This strong storm originally had a decent chance of tracking north into Vancouver Island and sparing our area from potential damaging winds, but as we got closer to the ‘main event,’ computer weather models have honed in on a track right over Washington. One silver lining, though, is that storm’s low pressure center it will be slightly weaker than predicted earlier.
The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a High Wind Warning for Western Washington, which runs from 3PM Saturday until 2AM Sunday.
Saturday morning will likely start breezy with increasing rain, but the worst wind aren’t forecast for the Valley until later Saturday. Similar rain amounts (maybe a bit less) to Thursday’s storm are also expected with this second storm, too.
For the Snoqualmie Valley, KOMO Weather Producer Scott Sistek says peak gusts of 60MPH are possible and south/southeasterly sustained winds are expected to be in the 20-40MPH range. Peak winds should occur between 6PM-10PM.
Weather forecasters say this storm has the potential to be the worst the region has seen since December 2006 when power in the Snoqualmie Valley was out for five days – or as I like to call it, “The year I baked my daughter’s 5th birthday cake on the barbecue” – which for the record, my son still says is the best birthday cake he’s ever had!