Thursday, October 13, 2016

There Could Be An Incredibly Bad Storm In The Pacific Northwest This Evening

A steeple on Campbell Hall at the Oregon College of Education
in Monmouth blows down amid hurricane force
 winds during the famous Columbus Day storm of 1962.
There's a chance of a similar storm in the Pacific
Northwest this weekend. 
The Pacific Northwest is used to big rainy, windy storms roaring in off the Pacific Ocean.

But there's a risk that a storm this weekend could be one for the record books. It all depends on where the storm goes.

The region is off to a start today, with one strong storm coming in. High wind warnings are up for much of Washington and Oregon, and several inches of rain could fall with this one. Some flooding is possible.

While today's storm is really big, especially for this early in the season, it's not a record breaker. There will be power failures and local flooding, but they'll get over it.

On Saturday, there's a risk of a much, MUCH bigger storm, powered by the remnants of Typhoon Songda.

The National Weather  Service in Seattle says there's roughly a one in three chance this Saturday storm will be extreme in Washington and Oregon.

If it plows onshore in Washington, expect a historic storm something like the Columbus Day Storm of 1962, which was spawned by similar weather conditions as those now over the Pacific, notes the Seattle Times.

In 1962, a storm powered by the remains of Typhoon Freda slammed into the Pacific Northwest, killing 46 people and causing extreme wind damage. Winds during that storm gusted to an estimated 150 mph in spots, or even 180 mph at the coast, but it's hard to know since so many wind measuring sites were damagted.

There's a good video summary of the 1962 storm, with some dramatic footage, at the bottom of this post.

Of course, the National Weather Service in Seattle, thankfully says there's a better chance, maybe two in three, that the storm will curve northward, way off shore.

That would mean the Northwest has a very stormy, windy weekend with some power failures and flooding, but again, it would be something they're used to. Still, some computer models are unloading one to two feet of rain on coastal Pacific Northwest, and up to seven inches of rain in Idaho.

You can see why they're worried about flooding.

Parts of British Columbia, Canada are under the gun with this stormy weather, too.

Here's that video of the 1962 storm:

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