Common sight in communities on the eastside of Seattle after the windstorm last night. Photo Kevin Tighe.
Yet again, Western Washington has been slammed by inclement weather. In the past month, the region has been dealt (1) devastating floods (November was the wettest month EVER on record); (2) a snow and ice storm with record cold temperatures; and now, (3) one of the strongest windstorms to hit the area since the Columbus day storm of 1962. Seattle is making a name for itself in the extreme weather department (contrary to the cloudy and drizzle reputation). In fact, in many areas, this storm was worse than the last famous windstorm, the Inauguration day storm of 1993. For example, Sea-Tac airport recorded its strongest EVER wind gust at 69 miles per hour (nearly hurricane strength winds) at around 1 am last night. Some other locations have seen greater gusts in past storms, but this was definitely one for the books.
At home in Sammamish (I am flying in tomorrow), we had a tree fall over our driveway, which is keeping my mom from exiting with the car until it is removed. The tree was completely uprooted taking surrounding bushes and the irrigation system with it. Fallen trees litter Sammamish and the rest of the wooded eastside area. Part of the reason has to do with all the rain that fell lately (including the heavy downpours last night immediately preceding the wind) making the soil saturated and root systems unstable.
My house is one of 1.5 million without power and there are large branches everywhere. Temperatures tonight are forecasted to dip into the low 30’s making for a very chilly night for those without power. Hopefully the power company will fix the problems soon.
Now that the “trifecta” of flooding, snow, and wind is complete in Western Washington, one wonders if nature has anything left in the bag this winter? I had already written off extreme weather for the rest of the winter after the snowstorm, I sure was wrong then…