Gusty winds knock out power, cause trees to topple

Gusty winds knock out power, cause trees to topple
SEATTLE -- We just can't seem to go more than two days without making weather the top story on our site.

A storm tracking through the Northwest Monday suddenly strengthened in the late morning hours, bringing a good dose of gusty winds to many parts of Western Washington.

So far, peak gusts have been around 45-55 mph. The wind was strong enough to knock over some trees and cut power to more than 3,000 Seattle City Light customers in North Seattle, Shoreline and Lake Forest Park. Power was restored by late Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Puget Sound Energy spokeswoman MacKenzie McDowell says the utility has scattered outages in Kitsap and north King County.

In Downtown Seattle, winds shooting and accelerating in the gaps between the tall buildings made walking difficult and was wreaking havoc with those who have extra garbage sitting out curbside awaiting pickup from the past weeks' snow and ice. A KOMO Photographer estimated wind speeds around 50 mph or higher there in gusts.

Some trees could not stand the gusty winds that whipped them about every which way. In Issaquah, a huge tree fell on a parked car, crushing it under its weight. In Seattle's Belltown neighborhood, the wind snapped a tree and dropped it onto the street. It took several workers armed with chainsaws to clean up the mess.

Here are some peak gusts (official) recorded so far:

  • Oak Harbor: 59 mph
  • Seattle (Alki Beach): 55 mph
  • Seattle (Magnolia): 55 mph
  • 520 Bridge: 52 mph
  • Gig Harbor: 49 mph
  • Seattle (Sea-Tac): 46 mph
  • Port Angeles: 45 mph
  • Seattle (Boeing Field): 45 mph
  • Everett: 45 mph
  • Friday Harbor: 44 mph
  • Bellingham: 43 mph

Winds will slowly taper off during the afternoon, although strong west wind will linger through the Strait of Juan de Fuca, affecting Port Angeles and Sequim, and then blow to the east and hit areas that are in the Strait outflow -- Port Townsend, Whidbey Island, Camano Island, San Juan Islands and western Skagit County in particular. We could see west winds race down the Strait and buffet the aforementioned areas with gusts to 50-60 mph. Currently, a Wind Advisory remains in effect until 7 p.m. for the areas that border the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca.

This is just round one with a three-round fight with gusty winds. Another storm promises wind gusts of around 40-50 mph on Tuesday night, and then a potentially very strong wind storm looms for Thursday night and Friday morning. There's more information there in our Weather Blog

In any event, looks like weather will still be a frequent occupier of the top spot on our web site!