Rare May windstorm slams into Northwest

Rare May windstorm slams into Northwest »Play Video
No one was injured when this tree fell onto an SUV in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood early Tuesday.
SEATTLE -- Winter still lives... again.

Much like the villain in a bad horror movie, just when you think you've finally vanquished him and the happy music plays and the characters move on toward happily ever after land, here he comes roaring back out of the shadows.

The storm pushing through the Northwest Tuesday morning has winter once again trying to wrestle into control. It brought winds gusting as high as 51 mph and a drenching rain.

The wind knocked out power to about 2,500 people overnight -- 1,800 to Poulsbo when a tree knocked over a power line, 600 in Bellevue, and 50 on Mercer Island. Most power had been restored as of 6 a.m.

One tree toppled over in Seattle's Greenwood area, damaging a phone line and landing on an SUV. No one was injured. Another large tree -- estimated at around 5 feet in diameter, was precariously leaning toward a home in the Capitol Hill area on Harvard Avenue between Prospect and Aloha Streets.

Police have evacuated the home and have set up a safety perimeter around the tree until it can be secured.

Here are some of the peak gusts recorded in this storm:

  • Everett: 51 mph
  • Alki Beach (Seattle): 45 mph
  • Hoquiam: 41 mph
  • Bellingham: 40 mph
  • Oak Harbor: 39 mph
  • Tacoma: 37 mph
  • Seattle (Sea-Tac): 35 mph

Most other wind gusts were under 35 mph.

Heavy rains also accompanied this storm, with over an inch reported along the central Coast, and about 0.50-1.00" reported around the Puget Sound area.

Where do we go from here?

A Wind Advisory remains in effect for all of Western Washington except the coast and Strait of Juan de Fuca until 11 a.m.

But the peak gusts have probably occurred and we'll be gradually slowing down for the rest of the morning as the storm moves away.

The bigger story Tuesday morning will be heavy rain squalls continuing through the morning commute across the central Puget Sound area, and then rain will taper to isolated showers in the afternoon.

Another storm comes quickly on this one's heels Wednesday, but this is more just a light-to-moderate period of steady rain and no strong winds are expected here.

We then dry out toward the weekend.

We dodged a bullet

The storm was felt fairly well around here, but it could have been much worse. The storm strengthened overnight, but made landfall well to our north near the northern tip of Vancouver Island.

Had this storm followed a more traditional windstorm path and crossed over southern Vancouver Island or northwestern Washington and had more of an east/northeast track than the mostly due-north track of this storm, wind speeds would have been much greater and damage would have been more widespread.