Powerful Pacific Northwest Storm Recap!

Posted: October 18, 2016, 6:20 pm by cspeciale


Sea level pressure analysis 4pm Oct 15. Courtesy of NWS Seattle


The Pacific Northwest experienced far from usual October weather this past weekend as two very potent low pressure systems impacted the area. As WeatherWorks Meteorologist Chris Castellano pointed out in our Friday post, the first system brought heavy rain, very gusty winds, and even a few confirmed tornadoes to the area. The second system that impacted the region was formerly known as Super Typhoon Songda. Although not quite packing the 150 mph punch that it once had in the Western Pacific, the remnants of Super Typhoon Songda brought some wild weather to West Coast.

Upon the system’s arrival Saturday, the Seattle, WA metro area experienced widespread wind gusts exceeding 40 mph, while Portland, OR had gusts surpassing 50 mph. Although weather forecasts called for higher gusts for these cities, the system ended up tracking father off shore than originally anticipated which kept the more impressive gusts confined to the coast and elevations. Mary’s Peak in Oregon recorded a wind gust of 102 mph, while Crystal Mountain in Washington recorded a gust of 88 mph! These were the highest gusts reported from each state with widespread gusts ranging 50 to 80 mph across western Washington and Oregon led to over 3,000 power outages.

Besides high winds, these two low pressure systems together brought much needed rain to the Pacific Northwest from Thursday October 13th through Sunday October 16th. In fact, many locations received more rainfall in that four-day window, than the normal total for the entire month of October. For instance, Oregon’s state capitol in Salem received 5.08” of rainfall from these two systems or 167% of its typically October rainfall! While many likely would have preferred the rain spread out over the course of numerous days, these two systems did bring the Pacific Northwest drought relief. Parts of the region had been classified in a moderate drought by the US Drought Monitor on October 11, 2016. More drought relief is on the way for the Pacific Northwest, as another round of heavy rain is forecasted Wednesday night into Thursday.

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