We just witnessed a preview to the fall and winter windstorms two weeks ago. According to the WA State Climatologist Office, the 63 MPH wind speeds that blew through Hoquiam and Westport on August 29th relate to a major wind event with an occurrence of every 2-3 years.
It seems storms are appearing more frequently and with more severity impacting more people and communities. The link below from WA State Emergency Management has some helpful hints on what to do prior to, during and following severe wind events.
|Office of Washington State Climatologist Windstorm Categories|
|Average Peak Instant Gust (mph)||Windstorm Category||Approximate Return Interval|
|39-44||Minor||Several per year|
|55-64||Major||Once every 2–3 years|
|65-74||Extreme||Once every 5–10 years|
|75+||Phenomenal||Once every 25–50 years|
Notable Pacific Northwest windstorms
- 1880: Great Gale of 1880
- 1921: January 29, the Great Olympic Blowdown.
- 1962: Columbus Day Storm began life as tropical storm typhoon Frieda/Freda.
- 1979: February 13 windstorm leads to the catastrophic failure of the Hood Canal Bridge.
- 1981: Friday the 13th Windstorms, November 13–15.
- 1990: November 22–24, Mercer island bridge sinking Washington state.
- 1993: Inauguration Day windstorm, January 20. Claimed 5 lives, 3/4 million homes and businesses without power with total damage in western Washington of $130 million.
- 1995: December 11–12.
- 2002: South Valley Surprise of 2002
- 2006: Hannukah Eve windstorm.
- 2007: Great Coastal Gale of 2007
Charles T Wallace, Deputy Director
Grays Harbor County Emergency Management
310 W. Spruce Street
Montesano, WA 98563
(360) 249-3911 x 1575