Monday, August 31, 2015

As Hurricanes Miss, Pacific Northwest Gets A Big Wind Blast

One of many fallen trees in Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada after a wicked weekemd wnd storm  
Tropical Storm Erika fizzled, Hurricane Fred is way out over the eastern Atlantic, so it looks like the United States is escaping a hurricane, at least for now.

(Though Hurricane Ignacio is going to cause tropical storm conditions in Hawaii.)  

However, the Pacific Northwest in the United States and British Columbia on the west coast of Canada got a hurricane force blow over the weekend from a regular, albeit powerful storm that came ashore.

Winds gusted to 90 mph in Oceanside, Oregon and 85 mph in Nasalle Ridge, Washington.

These kinds of strong storms with wind gusts to hurricane force affect the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia from time to time in the winter.

But it's very rare to get something like this in the summer. There's still leaves on the trees, and in wind storms, the leaves act like a multitude of little sails. The leafy "sails" pull the trees in the wind much more than if they were bare, so more trees than usual toppled in the weekend storm.

Falling trees killed two people in Washington State, and 450,000 or so of the state's residents lost their electricity.

In British Columbia, at least 400,000 homes and businesses were left without electricity. Parks and other outdoor activities were shut down Saturday over fears that trees would fall on people.

The storm has moved on and things have calmed down in the region. With drier air moving in, the wildfires, though, will continue.

Here are some weekend scenes from Vancouver, British Columbia:

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