De-hyping the Pacific Northwest ‘Typhoon’ packing 150 mph winds formerly known as Songda

I’ve been getting a few worried queries on Facebook from people that want my opinion about the “Mega-storm packing 150 mph winds and 50-foot waves set to pummel West Coast” that has been making the rounds as seen below:

What is your take on this storm coming into the West coast areas of Washington, Oregon and California. 50 ft waves and 150 mph winds. worse that the 1962 storm? hype-pacific-nw-storm

When I saw that headline, I cringed, because the author from a website called Medium, one Kevin Thomas Hulten, says he is a FEMA-certified disaster PIO, an award-winning publisher/reporter & founder of the Bay Area-based strategic communication firm K15n. is using the image of Typhoon Songda at it’s strongest on October 11th, along with the effects of a typhoon at that strength “50 ft waves and 150 mph winds” in a headline that suggests these effects will hit the West Coast of the USA.

He’s not just wrong, he’s irresposnibly wrong in my opinion; if he really is trained by to be a “FEMA-certified disaster PIO”, he should know better. Unless of course, hype is part of that FEMA training. The data simply doesn’t support his wild claim. For example, here is the current bulletin up on the NWS Seattle home page:

nws-remnants-songda

A factual story in the Seattle Times was much less alarming:

“This is one of those rare cases where (a typhoon) just happened to get swept up in the right way and get in an environment where it could grow again right off our coast,” Bond said. “When everything comes together like that — look out.”

On Thursday, computer models showed the storm passing directly over Western Washington, said Kirby Cook, science officer for the National Weather Service in Seattle. But even small shifts in the storm track can change which areas will be hit hardest, he cautioned.

Pressure measurements show a very intense low at the heart of the storm, which means high winds. But the pressures aren’t quite as low as those that spawned the (1962) Columbus Day storm.

“This doesn’t look as strong as that, right now,” Cook said. “But it may very well end up being the strongest storm we’ve had in the last five to 10 years.”

Gosh, compare these two quotes:

“FEMA Certified Disaster PIO” Kevin Thomas Hulten says –

Packing 150 mph sustained winds, a storm some meteorologists are calling the “biggest storm in history” will hit coastal regions of the U.S. this Saturday,generating 45-foot waves, and dumping multiple feet of rainfall across an area including three states and two countries.

NWS science officer Kirby Cook says –

…the strongest storm we’ve had in the last five to 10 years.

The graphic provide by the Times is very instructive:typhoon-songda-2016-path

And here is a Tweet from a couple of days ago by the NWS Seattle, that shows what the storm looks like now as a strong extra-tropical low pressure system:

Compare that image of the low approaching the coast to the typhoon picture used in the Medium story by Kevin Thomas Hulten and I think you’ll agree they look nothing alike.

Compare the measured wind speed of 52mph at sea by a ship off the coast of Seattle to “packing 150 mph winds”:

It seems though, some “journalists” just can’t help but generate clickbait.

Mashable’s Andrew Freedman fell into that trap yesterday, and I called him out on it:

Here is the graphic from that Tweet, click to enlarge:

sci-vs-entertainment

In my opinion, these doomster journalists do the world a great disservice when they print hype like that, because when the “super typhoon” and 150 mph winds and 50 foot waves don’t materialize in Seattle and nearby areas, people will remember that the warnings didn’t match reality, and the next time a big storm comes through, they might not take  it seriously enough to prepare because the last one was such a bust.

It’s called “warning fatigue” (something NOAA recognizes) combined with fixation on something that is pointless entertainment. And, it isn’t just in the USA, Britain has it too.

My friend Mike Smith speaks of this problem in his book Warnings: The true story of how science tamed the weather.

I’ve read it, and I’ve lived and experienced much of what he’s written about in the quest to make forecasting, especially severe weather forecasting, more accurate, timely, and specific. For those of us that prefer practical approaches over the rampant speculation on mere wisps of connections to climate this book is for you.

Interestingly, while “warning fatigue” was well known long ago when too many weather bulletins occur and the populace tunes out because they weren’t personally affected, so it goes today with the increasingly shrill climate warnings we see in the media.

The public is starting to tune those out too.

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137 thoughts on “De-hyping the Pacific Northwest ‘Typhoon’ packing 150 mph winds formerly known as Songda

  1. People pay good money to go to the cinema and watch an horror movie because they like to get frightened. This idiot is just tuning in to this desire in order to fulfill a need.

    • A lot of people like to get frightened in a controlled environment, but it’s rather sad to see someone who has turned into jelly because they were lost, or in over their head, in unfamiliar surroundings.

    • Well two days ago, our local Bay Area news weather reporter said that the Bay Area, was about to be hit by a “river of water, sweeping across the Pacific. By yesterday morning we were supposed to have our first area wide major rainstorm of the season.

      Well so far, nada. Not a sign of any river of water either up in the air or down here on the ground.

      Yes we had some dark clouds. This morning there is broken mid altitude wet looking clouds, but doesn’t look as if any of that water will be coming down soon. Well not aroud here. Maybe if it makes it over to the Sierra, they will get preciped, maybe even some snow.

      Maybe there is nothing going on in the news of the day, so they have to make stuff up.

      Too bad there isn’t any election news to get one’s attention to anything that could be important.

      Well sometimes there just isn’t anything at all happening.

      g

      • That’s because they’re relying almost solely on models, and haven’t figured out that models are crap.

      • I’ve lived in Victoria on Vancouver Island for all of my 68 years. Where we live in the City you wouldn’t even know there had been a storm. A little wind, a little rain nothing unusual for the time of year. It was worse in some areas but still nothing compared to other windstorms I have lived through in every decade since the 50s. The biggest problem here is usually trees falling over but that is largely because we have so many trees and many of them are quite old. One poor teenager dead (hit by falling tree), a few power outages, a handful of cancelled ferries (probably unnecessary) and minor structural damage was the sum total for a region of the Canadian West Coast home to nearly 3 million people. When will he green idiots learn that all these exaggerated predictions do is put people off.

      • Well finally our river of water has arrived.

        This river is huge; covers the whole sky over Sunnyvale and t is flowing straight down.

        The water comes from somewhere up there, and flows straight down as if almost driven by gravity.

        It has to flow straight down because there ‘s not a tree leaf flickering anywhere; well other than recoiling from a direct hit by a weton of Pacific river water.

        So far it hasn’t risen above about a category one drizzle. I offered to drive my MIL to church, as it was neither cold nor windy.

        But evidently the modern era of California drought is ended, as real liquid H2O is lying on the ground, and in some places even forming “puddles”, which are a sort of miniature “lake”.

        I haven’t turned on the weather channel to learn about the degree of (their) concern.

        But now we have something to talk about besides Alec Baldwin’s lousy acting job on SNL.

        g

  2. ALL Fed Gov PIO’s are journalists and PR people, trained by journalists and PR people, they usually don’t know crap. Second, any training from FEMA is suspect. I attended one of their “preparedness” seminars on behalf of our township. It was just a regurgitation of the Boy Scout handbook, put into a powerpoint, and presented by someone who has, clearly, never experienced a real emergency.

  3. When bullshit gets you a well paid government sinecure, bullshit is what you will get.

    Nobody wants or even knows how to run anything anymore.

    But they sure know how to bullshit that they do!

    • Nearly forty years ago my wife and I knew a good, sound weathercaster in Terre Haute, IN. Asked what was his chief dread in his profession, he said, “My watchers and listeners having to shovel eight inches of partly cloudy.” Thus, I guess that in an unclear situation, he would have preferred to issue at least some sort of warning where it didn’t turn out to be necessary, rather than forecast an all-clear followed by an unpredicted storm. He would always say, though, “This one’s iffy and could go either way. I think it’ll snow, but it may not.” I always appreciated his candor, and usually his information was spot-on.

      • When I lived in the midwest the local station had a very seasoned weather man. He said we should expect a light dusting of snow overnight. Of course we work up to 14-inches. The on air kidding did last for a while.

  4. I am near Seattle. So far, it has rained a fair amount. Some spotty power outages. Big surprise for late October in this area. Lots of discussion about winds this afternoon and evening. My wife is already skeptical about the hype. She was mumbling something about boys crying wolf.

    • Leon, I was born and raised in and am currently living in Skagit County, Washington (about 1 hour due north of Seattle). Just to clarify, for I am sure you must have meant it this way, “Big surprise” — NOT. As if. This is the part of the country where having Thanksgiving dinner by candlelight has been, several times, a necessity, not a choice. Where those a bit older than I remember a real storm and talk about it every year, Columbus Day Storm, October 12, 1962:

      Videos about storm — how it formed, damage, etc.


      (youtube)

      KING 5 News “Columbus Day Storm 50 Years Later’

      (youtube)

      • Now, THAT was a storm!

        I was 15 at the time and remember standing next to our one-piece plate glass living room window. In fact, my nose was pressed to the glass as I watched debris blowing by. When the glass started to vibrate, I was terrified that the wind would blow out the glass and possibly even the fireplace on the opposite wall.

        I yelled for my mom, who was in the kitchen. The two of us held the window up until Dad finally got home. He propped the window up with 2 x 4s.

        Later, it was reported that there were sustained winds of 100 mph in Salem, and a gust of 170 mph at Mt. Hebo on the coast. Apparently, that wind gauge was broken by that gust, so we don’t really know how strong the winds became at that location.

        We lost some fruit trees in our mini-orchard, and Grandmother, who lived 17 miles away, had several of her trees uprooted. I still have pictures of the damage. As I recall, power was out for a week or more.

      • Janice – I’m over the hill from you in the Okanogan and we had some rain and some wind but nothing particularly epic. This was very over-hyped. Tacoma probably wins the horror footage of the storm when a flood of water ran onto a football field. Yawn. The Oregon waterspout/tornadoes were a surprise. And of course this was the worst storm since the last worst storm, pick a date, not not at all unusual.

      • Donna, down here in Vancouver the effects of Columbus Day were similar as to windows, but trees were more of a problem. My Mom worked at the VA, and my Dad taught school, neither of which had the sense to go to emergency status. Dad was kept busy getting school buses free of fallen limbs in the HS parking lot till 7pm, and got home by 9pm. Mom returned to the VA for the night when she tried 3 different routes home, and found them all blocked by downed Douglas Fir. They were weeks cleaning up the town, and Oregon was still worried about what to do with all the blown down timber a year later.

        Still, I’ll probably set this one out instead of haring off to a party in Portland’s Hillsdale neighborhood. The party house is up at 750 feet altitude on the west side of the ridgeline that overlooks downtown Portland.

      • Janice,

        I remember the Columbus Day Storm really well. I was living in Portland Oregon, well strictly in Cedar Hills, a north western suburb. As I recall, to the south west of the city center, there was an extensive park area of conifers of some sort.
        Now Portland is a drizzly city. Not a lot of rain (45 inches) but it rains a lot, so the trees don’t have to dig very deep to find water. So those trees were not deeply rooted, and about half of all of that forest got flattened. They simply got blown over flat. It was totally weird driving by there as it looked like somebody must have gone and marked each tree for the lumber yard. The trees were either blown flat, or stood their ground and survived.

        A work colleague was talking to his wife on the telephone, and she was in their front living room looking out the window at the trees blowing back and forth, as she described them to this guy. She was telling him about the great big conifer that was swaying back and forth , coming towards her, and then going the other way. “Here it cones again” she said, and then she shrieked, and his phone went dead. The tree kept coming and crashed right through that window, as she was standing there with the kids.

        It darn near cleaved their house in half, and nobody got so much as a scratch.

        I didn’t have and big trees in my yard, small types that lose their leaves, and we had basically no damage or other trouble.

        That storm left its mark in Northern California, along the stretch where the coastal redwood forests are. You can still see some high water marks on some of those trees right by the hiway.

        Of course those trees have grown some since so the high water marks are now unbelievably high. Maybe some researcher will measure them and report on how deep the water must have been. Well not everybody can think through some of these processes.

        G

      • Regarding George E. Smith’s comment “Of course those trees have grown some since so the high water marks are now unbelievably high. Maybe some researcher will measure them and report on how deep the water must have been. Well not everybody can think through some of these processes”:
        Trees, like most plants, grow upward/outward only at their tips. Bark and branching points do not move upward as a tree grows.

      • George E. Smith: Of course those trees have grown some since so the high water marks are now unbelievably high.

        Aw, come on George, you know better than that. : > )

      • george e. smith
        October 15, 2016 at 10:42 am

        Portland’s average rainfall is only about 39 inches. Its dreariness stems from its puckering up and drooling almost daily for three seasons, not due to the total amount of precipitation, as you note.

      • Well I believe I have seen at least two trees; no make that three, that simply do not understand the polite way to grow.

        The first one that comes to mind is a Rimu tree in A suburb of Auckland, New Zealand. It was right outside the bathroom window at the place I was living at the time. I could put my arms around the tree trunk, but I had to stoop down to do it. If I just reached out without stooping I could grab a bunch of branches, all growing in an upward direction, I guess vaguely like a poplar. But they were too densely packed and I couldn’t pry them apart to get up in that tree. Last time I saw that tree, in 2014, there was simply no way I could get my arms around the trunk so I know it has grown out. And I still couldn’t climb up into it, because the branches are still too tightly packed and I can barely reach them to even try to pry them apart.

        The second one that comes to mind is also in New Zealand, at the “Buried Village” near Rotorua.
        The sewing machine that was caught in the branches when the volcanic mud flowed over the village, is now partially inside the tree which just grew around it stuck in the branches, and it is now something like eight feet above the ground, or was when I last visited that place.

        The third one that I know for sure is growing upwards, is actually in the process of overturning my house, and has already cracked the rock wall that my house is sitting on, to the point where I am going to have to cut out a piece of the wall, and form a bridge over the base of the tree, which is rising vertically as surely as I am sitting here.

        But then I have seen lots of strange things that simply don’t really happen.

        But I now have a tree growing laboratory of sorts, because the city put a brand new purple Ash in my front yard, which was about an inch and a quarter in diameter when they put it in the hole, and the branches start at about five feet above the ground. It has grown about three or four feet since they put it in less than two years ago, so I will keep tabs on the branches to make sure that they don’t get any higher off the ground.

        G

      • Nice background info, but it doesn’t matter. Whatever the result and whatever the history, we will be assured that Climate Change made it worse.

      • — Thank you for sharing your eyewitness testimony, Ms. Becker. Wow. You and your mom were very brave! That storm’s intensity surprised everyone. It was, for that generation, anyway, truly unprecedented in that area.

        — You are very welcome, F J. Thanks for saying so.

        — Thanks for sharing that AMAZING story, George. That poor husband and dad must have nearly had a heart attack when the line went dead. Re: the Redwood Trees — GREAT observation. Uh, oh. I think I hear the sound of the Climate Hu$ler$’ chainsaws…. Rats. Well, at least I got a few photos with my ph …… aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ………………. DARN! (the Dem blackberry smashers just smashed my phone!) grr (no, I did not have time to upload them anywhere!!!).

        :)

    • We’ve been pretty windy out on north Whidbey Island (north Puget Sound), with some sporadic rain. But it’s nothing out of the ordinary. Generator hasn’t come on yet.

    • thus far not much here on the East side of Seattle at the foothills of the cascades. Lot of rain, winds not as bad as yesterday. Still have power. Been following the hype since Wednesday. Climate folks at Univ. Washington have not been pushing a doomsday scenario at all and they tend more towards the hysterical side of climate change. Dec. 2006 storm was much worse.

  5. Yup, warning fatigue has been brought up here on WUWT and I find the hype to be totally irresponsible.

    Our local weather teams all have a born-and-raised-local meteorologist to head the team. They recognize the vagaries that influence the weather on specific areas (open farm, reservoirs, rural-gone-to-urban) in a 5-8 county region that they forecast. They know the weather pattern history of the area and it is noticeable that they don’t mindlessly hype severe weather in areas not likely to get it. They do a good job as there is local tradition, going back to when I was a kid, of competition for the most accurate local forecasts. (Oh, I’m in a medium-sized TV market.)

    Except snow… I’ve never seen a TV meteorologist that doesn’t get excited about the possibility of a blizzard ;o) Ah well. Got to allow them their one guilty pleasure I suppose.

    I suspect the hype comes from larger markets where hype is used to garner eyeballs for the local weather. In smaller markets, the ‘weatherman’ has to live with those who are watching and will catch he!! if he’s off on the forecast.

      • HR, thanks for that info. No wonder that in large cities they build big houses . Now I know, it’s for 10 foot TV screens! Maybe these new fandangled wrap around screens will make new houses smaller and hey, just a thought with virtual reality tv? Then you can actually live in a house the size of your couch! ( and a fridge for the beer and a table for the popcorn and a porta potty of course.

      • Oh yes, guys. The signal from our market was only strong enough to fill a 19″ TV screen. Out in the boonies, it was a waste of money to buy anything larger than a 12″ set because the signal wouldn’t even fill that screen. But those city-slickers in New York had 25″ screens! wOw!

        ;o)

  6. As I’ve often said (more in a business management context) “if you reward firefighting, you get arsonists”. This is a great example, only substitute “clickbait” for “firefighting” and you get the idea.

  7. I live in Victoria, just north of Seattle on the southern tip of Vancouver Island and we too are being inundated with storm warnings.

    The media hype is comparing the incoming storm to what was called Hurricane Frieda that came through in 1962. Yet, we had an almost-as-strong storm that came in mid-December 2006 that did as much or more damage, at least in Vancouver (over the water from Victoria, on the mainland).

    Good comparison of 2006 to 1962 storms here, http://www.vancourier.com/news/looking-back-at-the-storm-of-the-century-1.2045930

    The 2006 storm described here, http://www.ctvnews.ca/stanley-park-marks-windstorm-anniversary-1.267785

    Compared the max wind speeds of gusts from those reports (at Vancouver airport):

    Un-named late November storm 1955, 129 kilometres per hour
    Frieda remnant, mid-October 1962, 126 kilometres per hour
    mid-December 2006 storm, 120 kilometres per hour

    It will be interesting to see what we get this time. It blew pretty hard yesterday morning but is almost calm right now.

    Susan

    • I was living in Victoria in 1998 when a +100km/hr gusts wind event happened on Nov 24. It took out some big oak trees and made the ocean stand up on its hind legs! If I recall it was one of the top ten weather events for Canada that year.

      • Hi Dave,
        Was that 1998 storm the one that blew the leaf out of the Canadian flag flying in Beacon Hill park? One of my favourite storm images – it made the front page of the local paper, flag without a leaf…

    • Hi, up there, Susan!

      I jogged in calm, clear, weather around 6AM today. Now, the wind is picking up a bit, but, nothing to be alarmed about. I’ll report back this afternoon …. aaaaaaaaaaaa!!! IF I CAN DO THAT…. IF … (gulp) I AM STILL ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (wink) ;)

      Signing off from Burlington, Washington, USA

      Janice Moore

      [The mods are not worried, but considering her lightness of being, the mods do express their concern that Janice be not signing “Up, up and away” from Burlington WA. .mod]

      • Janice the Lightweight Replies:

        Whachu talkin’ ’bout, Willis?

        (youtube)

        #(:))

        Thanks for your concern.

        I tied one of them wheels from that old Chevy pick-up we parted out a few years back to muh ankle with some rope. Ah’ll be alright. Kinda makes gittin’ from the livin’ room tah the kitchen a chore, but, hey! Just means I’ll burn so many calories a gittin’ there, ah, cane eat awl ah want! Look out ice cream, heeer ah cuhm.

      • Just (for my peace of mind) to clarify: my sloppy attempt at an accent above was only intended to imitate our local tarheel talk, the descendants of immigrants (long, ago) to this part of Washington from N. Carolina (mainly), i.e., the “upriver” (Skagit River) folks’ way of putting things.

      • Thanks Tom.

        I think what our weather folks are saying is that it will hit south early in the day but move up the coast and hit us in the evening with somewhat lessened wind power but still gusts of up to 100 km per hour. Reality could be much different but there is still hours to wait yet.

      • All the best to you guys on the coast North and South of the 40th) hope it is just a hype, I lived in Victoria in the mid 70’s and worked at a marina, it can get pretty hairy out there. One storm the wind gauge recorded gusts up to 95 kms ( we had bets on what the highest would be, sustained winds were around 65 kms). So good luck to you all and be safe.

  8. “Interestingly, while “warning fatigue” was well known long ago when too many [warnings] … occur and the populace tunes out … so it goes today with the increasingly shrill climate warnings we see in the media.

    “The public is starting to tune those out too.”

    True. But, unfortunately the politicians and their attendant lawmakers and enforcers … oops, policy makers … aren’t tuning them out. And, since the dawn of progressivism they’ve shown an increasing inclination to disregard what the public cares about or wants. Witness Obama’s cringe inducing handover of the Internet to the UN (with nary a whisper of objection from Ryan and the Republican … ‘majority’) despite opposition to that travesty running as high as 80% among the public.

    • The NWS defines the horrid term “bombogenesis” and uses it to describe quickly strengthening nor’easters off the US East coast. (Perversely, they don’t have a definition for nor’easter!)

      Hmmpf. I know I’ve seen the NWS definition somewhere, but this from Jeff Haby does fine, too. From http://www.theweatherprediction.com/habyhints/188/ :

      Bombogenesis is cyclogenesis taken to the extreme. Bombogenesis is defined as a mid-latitude cyclone that drops in surface barometric pressure by 24 or more millibars in a 24-hour period. The height contours pack around the center of rotation and the number of height contours increases rapidly in the developing stages. The most common time of the year for bombogenesis to occur is in the cool season (October to March) when the temperature gradient is large between the high and mid-latitudes. Bombogenesis typically occurs between a cold continental air mass and warm ocean waters or between a cold polar air mass and a much warmer air mass. Many Nor-easters are the product of bombs. The contrast in temperature between polar air spilling over the eastern U.S. and the warm Gulf Stream waters sets the stage for cyclogenesis on the boundary between these air masses. Sometimes bombs will develop in the central U.S. between the boundary of polar air and more tropical air. Cyclogenesis that results in bombs requires strong divergence aloft. This divergence aloft is supplied by a strong jet streak diving into the trough axis aloft from the developing low pressure. The momentum of the jet streak and the dynamics in the left front quadrant of the jet streak cause a rapid evacuation of mass above the region of cyclogenesis.

      Some of these storms briefly develop an “eye-like structure” though I don’t think a hurricane chasing airplane has ever managed to fly through one.

    • Susan

      The met office and BBC have been using the term ‘weather bomb’ for the ladt two or three years in their forecasts. It signifies lots of extreme things happening at once usually involving wind and rain.

      Tonyb

  9. “Leveraging the power of trusted messengers” as the TV Mets program of Climate Central put it, is an essential part of stoking the fear that maintains the force of the Global Warming storm. Colouring mid 20 deg C temps molten red on the local forecast maps and describing average temps as “normal” makes everything not exactly average, “abnormal”.
    Be afraid, very afraid.

  10. Correct me if I am wrong, but is it not true that the ocean current along the pacific coast of the US a cold current that flows south from the Arctic? Would not a tropical storm that crosses a cold current be damped, just as one that crosses a warm current in the Atlantic or Gulf of Mexico is strengthened?

  11. Of course you are 100% right, Anthony – but please don’t “cringe”, Anthony, when you spot Hulton’s name. That attaches far too much weight and importance to that sort of fellow. Just laught out loud – because it does not really matter that the news media print sensationalist stories. They do it because the sad fact is that a large number of mankind unfortunately are gullible and on the wrong side of the IQ bell-curve but have enough money to make it worth while for certain media outlet to print that sort of stuff. It is the phenomenon which makes possible the existence of all gutter press journalism – which has always been with us. Just laugh, Anthony – don’t cringe.

  12. Phases 1 and 2 were pretty nondescript here on the BC Southern Gulf Islands; 30 foot spray from waves on the rocks usually hits our 2nd storey windows. Not yet. Drainage ditch no threat to driveway. Yet. But plenty of true-believers raiding the supermarkets. Me? Awaiting the next Wikileaks popcorn fest…..

  13. Also, bear in mind that there is a full moon this weekend, thus, the tide will be a bit more powerful.

  14. I’ve had a bit of fun with this storm. Everywhere I go, people are commenting on how frightful the weather is. A spur of the moment retort has now turned into a favourite and oft repeated line:

    Yes, aren’t glad human beings invented the indoors?”

    The reactions are mixed, but follow a general pattern. Brief moment of puzzlement, then lights come on, then a smile or chuckle. Cuts down the SJW, CC, Gaia is dying crowds right at the knees.

    • sigh. Aren’t YOU glad….
      And I blew the close italics tag
      After I proof read it twice
      I blame the storm of course. Thought I am still happy human beings invented the indoors.

  15. Like the line about “inventing the indoors”.
    The line I use in the summer is “Nice day–its room temperature outside.”

  16. Classical recurvature of a typhoon in the western Pacific undergoing extratropical transition. I studied several storms like this that eventually became very dangerous after they re-intensified in the Gulf of Alaska. It’s a fairly rare occurrence and very difficult to forecast. I agree that the reporting was irresponsible and terribly misleading.

  17. Except for this storm brought a 700ft tornado with gust of 140mph through my town ripping it to shreds. Completely devastating and the worst of the storm hasn’t even reached land yet. So turns out this man who you assumed wasn’t right actually was

      • An EF2, I see. 28 homes damaged / wrecked? It was so ‘completely devastating’ that the vast majority of the town wasn’t even touched.

        In other words, Weather.

      • Lyndsi,

        Your neighbor Steve Brennan apparently doesn’t share your apocalyptic vision of the damage to your town, which I know well.

        From KATU News report:

        The tornado touched down in Mazanita around 8:20 a.m. City officials say one home and two businesses were destroyed and 128 other homes were damaged. A third of the town’s trees were downed during the storm.

        A second tornado was confirmed in Oceanside about 40 minutes later, according to the National Weather Service. No damage or injuries have been reported in that area, mostly because the tornado only briefly touched down on the beach.

        “This can all be repaired… the trees will grow, the house we can fix, but you can’t put a human life back together when it’s gone,” Manzanita resident Steve Brennan said.

  18. The reason for the hype is for these drive by media journalists to set the table for post storm stories that it is connected to “human induced CO2 climate change”. You will probably see some stories after the storm that will warn you that Al Gore’s prophecies are coming true and you need to vote for Hillary so that he can become her science advisor and save the planet with carbon and energy taxes.

    I sent an e-mail to the worst offenders of this rot here in Portland, Oregon yesterday that this type of meme is totally false. Storms like this intensify by tapping COLDER THAN AVERAGE air from high latitude that is driven southward towards the 38th parallel of the east Pacific ocean and has nothing to do with the lies that a warming arctic is the cause as touted by the Francis/Vavrus nonsense that I wrote about here last March.

    More intense and frequent storms like this are not a sign of a warming earth, but rather, the opposite or at least that the temperatures on the north side of a frontal boundary are as cold as they have been over a century of time. Extra tropical storm development like this feeds on strong frontal boundaries and a baroclinic atmosphere, not warm tropical water.

    Chuck Wiese
    Meteorologist

  19. Wind gusts 90KM/HR max here and sustained 40-60. Some trees down, power outages all the usual stuff. Were used to it on the “Wet” Coast, some of the local media outlets have been hyping the drama but then they also think that we care what the Khardasians are wearing.
    We are waiting for the main event tonight. Now where is Kim today?……..Vancouver BC

  20. Fellow readers – Heading out soon to coach a youth football (American) game in the leading edges of this storm. Foul weather gear will be on but as I have weathered many of these PNW storms in the past I expect all to get soaked.

    I’ll post later regarding the experience(if possible); also if we have electricity will give you all a first-hand account of happenstances either during or after the event.

    Wish us well here in Western Washington!! (I live in a suburb with 70 to over 100 foot tall Douglas Fir tress adjacent to my home).

    Regards,

    MCR

  21. As other commentators from Canada have stated our federal meteorological folks have been careful not to over or under warn about the storms. They give updates regularly on the web site with explanations about how the storm could brings gusts to 100KPH, but that there was a good chance that it would veer north or south of the Lower Mainland (Vancouver region) and as such folks should check in from time to time to see what is happening. We had one neighbour’s tree blow over yesterday and also trees pushed over on a few street and one unlucky person was killed by a falling tree so far. The worst is due later today though…and our next door neighbour has two dead trees that we don’t trust…
    5:06 AM PDT Saturday 15 October 2016
    Wind warning in effect for:

    Metro Vancouver

    Strong winds that may cause damage are expected.

    The third in a series of strong storms will approach the coast this afternoon with winds rising late this afternoon and reaching warning level this evening. The storm which carries energy and moisture from the remnants of Typhoon Songda is forecast to cross southern Vancouver Island this evening and then move onto the sunshine coast tonight. Southerly winds gusting up to 100 km/h will ease by early Sunday morning.

    • For us Americans, 100 km/h is a mere 62.5 mph and would not break the speed limits outside of city centers.

      • ” … 62.5 mph and would not break …

        62.5 mph will break trees and uproot others.
        If you live with a tree that can hit your house — go to the mall and a movie. That’s not a joke.

  22. I live south of Seattle, and have followed this evening’s wind arrival very closely. My daughter has a 0600 flight out of SeaTac on Sunday, and I am the appointed driver for a 0400 pick up. She is not fond of bad weather; white knuckle flyer in calm weather, but any wind, snow, lightning makes her anxious. Very anxious.
    Thankfully, the wind event is now forecast for the Seattle/Tacoma metro area between 1800 and 2300 today. Best of all, the NWS has now dialed back the maximum gusts at SeaTac and in our suburban area by about 15 mph from what they had yesterday. But even with lower wind gusts, there still could be serious problems with trees because the area has been hammered with rain over the past two days, and the ground is saturated.

    Forecasters out here are damned if they do, damned if they don’t. NWS Seattle has been very clear all week: lots of uncertainty on track/timing/strength, but get ready for a big hit. Had they forecast a minor event, and major winds arrived, the outrage expressed by the easily offended would go on for days.

    • Yes. I do know that a hurricane crossing westward over the International Date LIne becomes a typhoon. Last year, Hurricane Kilo became Typhoon Kilo when it crossed westward over the International Date Line.

    • Thanks. I also notice that Indian Ocean tropical storms become cyclones even if they form north of the equator, as did Agni in 2004, notable for its record-setting proximity to the equator, at 0.7°N.

    • T. from tufan, a word in Arabic, Persian, and Hindi
      H. appears to be from an Arawakan (West Indies) word:
      C. from the idea of a circle
      Look them up here: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php

      I suppose the WMO has a paper on this topic, and so gets to dictate the “proper” word usage.

      • My understanding is that typhoon originated from Chinese (presumably Cantonese) “tai fung” or “big wind”.

        Don,

        I knew that cyclone is the word used for such storms in the South Pacific and southern Indian Ocean, but wasn’t sure about the IO north of the equator. As noted by John, the Arabic, Persian and Hindi word appears to come from Chinese, so in the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal, they might have been called typhoons.

  23. Can some of you in those areas keep this thread going please, It will be interesting to see how this unwind(s). Thanks, Oh and the history of this guy is well “interesting” .

  24. Thanks Anthony — well done.
    As others above, I too live in Washington State but on the dry side of the Cascades.
    As “Dry Side John” I work as a volunteer with Washington Trails Association building, maintaining, and clearing trees** off of hiking trails. Two things chase us out of the forests — lighting and strong winds.
    We call storms such as this job security, see the second photo at this link:
    http://blogs.usda.gov/tag/olympic-national-forest/

    In the photo the saw is under the log, coming up — called under-bucking.

    **[I do not take lightly the flooding, power outage, and deaths — good thoughts to all over there.]

    • Hi, John,

      From the “wet side,” here’s a little ditty sung by old timers around here:
      Well, I learned a little lesson from a logger named Gray.
      You don’t cut timber on a windy day.
      Stay out of the woods when the moisture’s loooooo–ooooohhhhhh,
      Or you’ll never live to collect your dough.

      Good for you to keep those hiking trails open for the rest of us — thanks!

      Your neighbor,

      Janice

  25. 1444 hours PST – Just returned from the fore-mentioned football game (our guys were victorious, by a 60-0 score). The weather started out with scudding low level clouds, with steady winds from the south estimated around 10-25 mph, and light mist to medium rain, waxing and waning. The temperature was in the upper 40’s to lower 50’s (F), and where skin or clothing was wet it was a bit uncomfortable.
    As the game progressed, the rain picked up through the first half. At half time, the rain was steady, although winds had abated to gusty, but no more than 10-15 mph (estimated). As the team came out for the second half – the rains stopped, and although the mid level clouds still were moving rapidly from south to north overhead, only intermittent rain bursts occurred. By the end of the game, the overcast had started to break, the winds had died back to a relatively calm afternoon. As I type, no rain and calm conditions with overcast skies.

    The calm before the storm??

    Reporting as promised and requested,7

    MCR

    • Current conditions in PDX breezy, with winds around 17 mph, but forecast to pick up again tonight to around 24 mph.

      • At: 48.491914, -122.316922 (near Burlington, WA, USA) — Currently a stiff breeze (guessing 20 mph with gusts of 40 mph). Flags whipping, but not standing out straight. A few light sprinkles. Sky is brightening as if the sun might come out in an hour or so. Power — ON (yay!).

        Re: Manzanita — it is right on the coast (damage inland is nothing to write home about). Also, fortunately, most of the damage was to unoccupied vacation/second homes (apparently). ALL damage is someone’s sorrow, though, so, sorry to hear of your town’s property damage, Lyndsi.

    • Looks like the worst of it was past the Columbia River bar by 3:00 pm PDT. Megler reported wind at 3:10 of 61G83 mph, and Naselle Ridge reported 56G86 at 2:50. (Those are exposed hilltops.) A sea level HADS location next to the Cape Disappointment USCG station reported 51G63 at 3:00. More recent readings show less wind.

  26. The tone of the Alarmist warnings are becoming shriller and louder as the public is becoming attuned to them, and is beginning to ignore them more and more. How much more “Worse than we thought” and “Biggest in history” can the public take before they revolt.

  27. what i notice is that they (the alarmists and CAGW hyping people seem to use the “generation gaps” and seem to “forget” former worse weather events.

    same here we had an article saying the belgian heat wave of 2015 was in the top 10 of worse climatic disasters of 2015…

    i just said out loud on the comment:” what would then the heatwave of 1976 or 1947 (still holding the record hottest temperature ever in Belgium) have been ranked?

    i see the same tendency with storms and floods, but nowhere near with cold or snow events…..

  28. Cliff Mass has an update:
    http://cliffmass.blogspot.ca/2016/10/the-storm-reveals-itself.html

    The latest observations suggest the storm is considerably weaker than forecast, with a low center of 970-972 hPa. It is also moving faster than predicted, by 1-2 hours, and 50-75 km farther offshore.
    These changes will lessen the impacts everywhere, but particularly over Seattle a and southward. Winds will increase and get gusty, with some scattered power outages. But this is not going to be a Chanukah Eve or Inauguration Day Storm in the central Puget Sound area.

  29. “Portland had the rainiest Oct. 13 in its history and the National Weather Service said a 103-mph wind gust was recorded at Cape Meares.”

    Not exactly wimpy. Currently raining, pardon my French, “comme vache qui pisse”

    • Phase II fizzled out::
      “National Weather Service meteorologist Miles Higa said the entire system should dissipate soon – including what’s left of it in Washington.

      Peak gusts were lower than expected, Higa said. In Astoria, for example, the service expected to see peak gusts of 55 to 65 mph. The actual peak was 52 mph. In the Newport area, they expected gusts near 65 mph, but none registered past 41 mph.

      “The winds on the coast underperformed,” he said.”

  30. We got lucky. The low went farther offshore than predicted, by only about 50km, but that’s enough for a big change.

    Forecasting the path of a mid latitude low is very difficult when the low is moving at 50km/hour and with the isobars so close together, that’s a difference of about 40km/hr winds. (60 actual versus 100 predicted (sustained) for example in Ocean Shores).

    I’m thankful the models were slightly off in my favor. My property likely won’t need major repairs. (Oh, hello Mr Murphy, how are you?)

    Peter

    • Peter would the fact the low is moving fast ( compared to hurricane Mathew FI moved at 10-15mph, 15 22 kms/hr) have something to do with maybe this storm not becoming as strong as predicted? It seems to me that the longer a “low” stays almost stationary it gets stronger.

  31. Another “beautiful cyclone” captured by Himawari-8:
    ========
    2016/10/13 – Extratropical Transition of former Typhoon Songda – Band 9 Water Vapor
    2016/10/12 – Last day of Typhoon Songda before extratropical transition – Band 3 rapid scan visible
    2016/10/11 – More Rapid Scan Band 3 visible imagery of Typhoon Songda
    2016/10/10 – Typhoon Songda in the West Pacific – Band 3 Rapid Scan Visible
    ========
    HTML5 loop / animated GIF / or MP4:
    http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/ramsdis/online/loop_of_the_day/
    (cntrl+F on “beautiful”)

  32. I’m on the Canadian side; east coast of Vancouver island, about 70 minutes north of Victoria.
    At 6pm PT on Saturday, the winds are light to moderate. They’re supposed to pick up in the next 6 hours.
    Not terribly worried, although the ground saturation from the rains (there has been considerably more rain than usual), IS a concern with respect to half a dozen 100++ foot Douglas Firs that are within about 30 feet of my house.
    Not sure how often this updates, but the link below seems to provide a pretty good graphic for tracking the storm..
    https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-143.31,42.80,3000/loc=-126.026,46.813

  33. Storm turned north and stayed off-shore. Seattle only brushed. Few outages. Vancouver may get hit.

  34. 28 mph max at my house and 50mph max gust at the PDX airport. I’ve seen at least three storms bigger than that in the last fifteen years. The NWS here this afternoon said the reason the storm barely hit high wind criteria instead of what they predicted was that two smaller lows formed just northwest of the parent low sucking energy away from that low; something the models cannot predict because observational data in the eastern Pacific is too sparse.

  35. If they can’t get the forecast right 24 hours ( even 12 ) in advance, how am I supposed to take seriously forecasts 100 years away?

  36. Here in Roseburg, Oregon, it has been a rainy day. Wind might have hit 20 MPH in gusts. No trees down. No flooding. No lightning. Storm or the Century is total Bullshift. THESE are the assholes who are predicting climate 50 years from now????

  37. We live atop a ridge in Ilwaco, WA with a view of the ocean. Saturday morning it was noted that the surf was normal for this time of year, i.e. there was nothing that signaled an impending storm. By 2:00 p.m. the wind was blowing with gusts in the 50s. Rain was heavy at times, but nothing abnormal. One should always be prepared for storms, they happen with regularity.

  38. Every year at this time of year in the UK the ‘usual suspects’ are wheeled out by the MSM to make wide-eyed spittle-flecked warnings of ‘another dire winter to come’ – just in order to fill some column inches and get a few more clicks. It almost always fails to materialise and the people who sucked it in and prepared for ‘the big freeze’ are left feeling like idiots once again. They should be sacked for scaremongering.

  39. Well, the storm of the century passed over us, leaving no winds to speak of and ~20mm of rain. The predicted, nay hyped 75mph winds simply did not arrive, not even a few puffs. I was actually kinda hoping we would get some strong gusts to clear the last of the leaves from the trees, but nope.

    I watched live as the “eye” of the system hit Cape Flattery and as soon as it did, the back end of the storm spilled out harmlessly over the Pacific. None of the models predicted that, but once again the GFS was the closest to actual.

  40. Cliff Mass …

    As I will describe in a future blog, this was not a failure so much of the models, but of communication of uncertainty.    My profession has to stop providing the worst case or most probable weather evolution, but provide society with full probabilistic guidance.  Yesterday was a good example of the failure mode when we do not.   The media, such as the Seattle Times and several TV stations, were happy to hype up the storm because of all the interest in such events.   Many events were unnecessarily cancelled or postponed, some on Friday or Saturday morning when there was no chance of strong winds.

    http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2016/10/a-short-comment-about-storm.html

    • To some extent over hyping is just CYA. If the government agencies are too conservative and people die they will have their butts raked over the PR coals. If they over hype their butts are covered. The press won’t hold them accountable if during a later storm people that have heard it all before and don’t believe them and thus stay and perish.

  41. Was 7 in ’62, living in SW Portland. Was after school playing in a friend’s tree fort at about 25-30 ft, when my mom came to pick me & my bicycle up for the short drive home – she got the storm warning. The greenish sky hit less than an hour later, when I was at home. My dad had contracted for all 5 of our mature pine trees to be topped, 2 yrs earlier, so NONE of ours toppled! All our neighbors who didn’t top their mature pine trees lost them, uprooting big sections of their yard, driveway or patios — a few falling on their houses or across our street. We were out of school for a week as the city repaired the power grid. All in all, quite an sap-smelly adventure that I looked for a repeat in 12OCT63? JFK was killed in Nov’63 so I quit looking in subsequent 12OCTs storms after that…

  42. Here in Central Oregon, we’ve had a fair bit of rain, but certainly no flooding. Max wind gust was 44 mph, on Thursday, in the Bend area. Although I staked my dwarf fruit trees, no damage occurred.

  43. With respect to high winds incoming on the Oregon Coast, it’s a comedy that anyone would think high winds are unusual. Or flooding. And I don’t recall anyone living there ever called them a “typhoon”. We called them “storms”. Some worse than others, of course.

    This Bend newspaper references a 175-mile-per-hour gust recorded in 1971 at Mt. Hebo, just off the Oregon Coast: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1243&dat=19710115&id=YAFYAAAAIBAJ&sjid=JfcDAAAAIBAJ&pg=2002,3879976

    Lest anyone doubt this report is factually correct, I can report I was standing directly next to the wind-speed recorder that night and personally observed the trace as it rose to a max speed of 175 mph.

    Was that the highest speed of the wind that night? Very likely. But no one will ever know because the entire wind gauge array blew away just a few moments later.

  44. Got our first decent rain for the 2016 – 2017 water year. It settled the dust real nice so I had a reasonably pleasant time refurbing an animal pen during some sunny breaks on Saturday. Sunday I worked out in the rain doing various odds and ends – it was nice not to be pouring sweat for once. Bring it!

  45. 50′ waves? Mere babies! During WW II the US Submarine ‘Tang’ got caught on the surface in a typhoon during her 5ht and what would turn out to be her final patrol. The events described here occurred Oct 6th and 7th of 1944.

    http://www.ss563.org/306/tang5.html

    From an account by Commander Dick O’Kane as skipper of the US submarine ‘Tang’ during WW II from when his Sub was caught on the surface in a powerful Typhoon east of Formosa (now Taiwan) and south of the Ryukyus islands. Paragraphs are transcribed from his book ‘Clear the Bridge’ which IMO is the greatest nonfiction description of a submarine during the war in the Pacific.

    A barometer reading taken just before the watch was brought in and the boat was sealed showed 27.8 inches. A few minutes later the sub rolled 70 degrees before a huge wave and managed to recover. He writes:
    “When submerged, looking through the scope gives the viewer the impression that his eye is just above the surface of the sea, at the position of the lens. When the boat is on the surface, it’s like looking down from a 55-foot tower. I was looking up at a single monstrous wave, so big it had normal waves on it’s crest, which were blowing out into spume as it rolled in. Reflexes made me duck momentarily just before it hit, and then green water, solid green sea, went over the top of everything, burying ‘Tang’ scope and all. I had expected a mangled tube, if indeed it was not broken off above the roots, Jones lowered away lest the next wave finish it off.”…………..
    “…….. Our present position was untenable, for we were being pushed ahead in addition to our own turns, and our total speed likely equaled the advance of storm. We could thus remain in this dangerous semicircle for days, even into the Ryukyus to the immediate north…..”

    O’Kane managed to get his boat through a 180 degree turn so as to head into the waves and wind and thus the sub was saved. He could not dive in such seas without taking a great chance of losing control of the boat so they rode it out just making steerage into the waves and the wind. When the seas and winds moderated enough to open the hatch they didn’t know if they were in the eye or if they had passed beyond the storm. They had to use their compressors to equalize the pressure in the boat before they could budge the hatch.
    Later the officers discussed what they had been through:

    “……I recalled an experience at sea with a hurricane packing 100-knot winds and spoke conservatively when I estimated that the winds of this typhoon had half again the speed. In the height of the seas, there was no comparison. We were not just guessing, for in the Quartermaster’s Notebook were recorded various periods during which the scope had been completely buried, the longest being 14 seconds. Sketching the wave crests in their most modest form and arriving at their speed from the recorded frequency, ‘Tang’s’ Jr. Officers calculated that on occasions a minimum of 40 feet of sea had rolled above the lens of our scope. I would not dispute their figure nor would Frank [Executive officer and navigator], we had seen the waves, and 95 feet from crest to trough seemed conservative.”

    ‘Tang’ would go on during this patrol into the Formosa (now Taiwan) strait to set a single patrol record for the sinking of enemy ships. But would be sunk by her last remaining torpedo when it malfunctioned and circled around and hit, sinking the sub. Unlike the majority of submarine sailors whose sub was sunk, O’Kane and some others survived the sinking and their subsequent incarceration by the Japanese.

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