Wayward April storm hops into Western Washington

Wayward April storm hops into Western Washington
SEATTLE -- The strongest early-spring storm since the Easter storm of 1997 blew through Western Washington Friday, bringing a myriad of weather including strong wind, steady rain, mountain snow, and even some low elevation snow in spots.

Winds gusted over 60 mph in a few locations with Oak Harbor, Bangor, Kirkland and Everett all recording gusts of 62 mph, with Bellingham just a notch behind at 61 mph. Over on the coast, winds roared just offshore where Tattoosh Island recorded a gust of 86 mph, while Destruction Island hit 78 mph. Elsewhere, gusts were in the 45-55 mph range.

The wind was strong enough to topple trees in many areas and knocked out power to nearly 30,000 people, including all of the San Juan Islands for a period Friday morning.

Here is a timeline of the latest information as it comes into the KOMO NewsRoom. We'll be updating this frequently through the day. Below that is our main news story:

Latest News:

9:48 p.m.: PSE reports crews are responding to the few remaining scattered outages.

8 p.m.: Incredible video shows 520 bridge swinging amid high winds and waves

6:27 p.m: Traffic lights in Seattle's U-District succumb to gusty winds

5:30 p.m.: Power restored to 3,700 homes and businesses in Burien and unincorporated King County.

4:43 p.m.: Power restored to 676 customers in the Diamond Point area, and 492 customers in the La Push area. Customers in Forks and area south of Forks are still in the dark.

4:30 p.m.: PSE reports outages are down to 4,000 -- mainly Kitsap and Skagit Counties.

4:05 p.m.: Just updated weather forecast at our weather page

4:02 p.m.:: Everett records gust of 62 mph

3:55 p.m.: Seattle Parks and Recreation has closed all grass athletic fields on Friday, April 2, and Saturday, April 3, due to the muddy condition of the fields caused by rain. All baseball and softball games and practices have been cancelled for Friday and Saturday. Synthetic fields remain open, and games on those fields will continue as normal. The closures will not affect spring egg hunts.

3:05 p.m.: Bellingham reports gust to 61 mph. Tree cleared from I-90 near 163rd Ave SE.

2:59 p.m. City Light corrects outage location to Burien from Renton

2:48 p.m.: National Weather Service extends Wind Advisory for Seattle area until 9 p.m. High Wind Warning extended until 9 p.m. for Northern Interior, and until 6 p.m. in Hood Canal Area and 7 p.m. along the coast.

2:42 p.m.: Tree has come down across three right lanes of eastbound I-90 near 163rd Ave SE in Bellevue. (DOT Web Camera)

2:41 p.m.: PSE confirms 14,000 without power, mostly in Kitsap County. City Light says it's 3,700 out in Renton and unincorporated King County, was caused by a tree coming into contact with power lines in the high winds.

2:35 p.m.: We're now compiling a running tally of peak gusts in the weather blog

2:33 p.m.: Seattle City Light reports 3,900 without power in Renton area. 520 Bridge records 51 mph gust. Kitsap Sun tweets 11,000 in the dark in Kitsap County

2:20 p.m.: 1,560 without power in Clallam County due to wind: Diamond Point (676), La Push (492), Forks (120) and area south of Forks (272).

2:16 p.m.: New gusts: 62 mph Kirkland from spotter on waterfront with hand-held anemometer. 58 mph Hoquiam. Report of 58 mph gust in Everett.

2:07 p.m.: 2 p.m. wind gusts: Alki Beach 61 mph, Everett 49, Seattle 47, Olympia 40 mph.

2:05 p.m. Portions of Point Defiance Park in Tacoma were closed after high winds downed a tree along Five Mile Drive. Fort Nisqually and the Point Defiance off-leash area, which is located on Five Mile Drive, are closed for the remainder of the day.

1:41 p.m. Peninsula power has 1,400 people without power near Purdy. PSE says still about 2,000 in the dark in N. King, Skagit and Kitsap Counties. San Juan Island is back online.

1:40 p.m. 520 Bridge reports 46 mph gust

1:37 p.m. Tree scrapes Olympia's Hurley Home

1:30 p.m. Hoquiam reports gust to 58 mph.

1:20 p.m.: 520 Bridge is starting to really get rocked. 39 mph gust registered there and look at the waves!

1:15 p.m. : Power restored to Orcas and Lopez Island. Power slowly being restored to San Juan Island.

1:05 p.m.: Here we go -- winds are staring their surge in the Puget Sound region as the front is passing (notice the sunshine?) Peak gusts at 1 p.m.: Forks 53, Tacoma 43, Gig Harbor 43, Bellingham 52, Oak Harbor 52, Friday Harbor 53, Everett 43, Alki Beach 43, Seattle 39, Olympia 38, Renton 35.

12:50 p.m.: Winds are a blowin' on the South Washington and northern Oregon coast. Measured gusts of 78 mph at Lincoln City, OR and 74 mph gust at Cape Disappointment on the southern Washington coast.

12:35 p.m. Front getting closer, and winds north and south of Seattle starting to respond -- Tacoma (Lewis-McChord) just gusted to 43 mph and the rest of the south sound is still blowing southeast at roughly 35 mph gusts. This is still "pre-front" winds, it's after the front passes that we'll get our stronger south/southwest winds. And note that Seattle is protected from "pre-front" winds due to the Olympic Mountains which is why it's still relatively calm in the city.

12:15 p.m.: All lanes of I-90 East near Snoqualmie Pass have been reopened.

12:05 p.m.: New Noon observations as front passes central Coast: Hoquiam - 53, Oak Harbor - 49, Friday Harbor - 48, Everett - 43, Port Angeles - 38, Seattle - 33, Olympia - 37.

11:20 a.m.: Looking at some observations, looks like the front is just passing Hoquiam as their wind shifted to the south and picked up. It had not quite passed Forks yet, but I expect them to switch to a south/southwest wind here shortly. In the interior, we're still a few hours away -- we need that front to get inland -- probably early to mid afternoon now.

11:05 a.m.:: Some peak gusts so far (in mph): North Bend - 55, Friday Harbor - 48, Oak Harbor- 46, Bellingham - 45, Forks - 43, Hoquiam- 43. For more exposed locations: Destruction Island - 78, Pt. Wilson (near Pt. Townsend) - 59, Pt. No Point (near Hansville) - 47

11:03 a.m.: Power restored in Lake Forest Park.

11:00 a.m.: Puget Sound Energy reports 2,200 without power in scattered outages across North King and Skagit Counties.

10:45 a.m.: I-90 is closed eastbound at milepost 47, Denny Creek to clear out spun out vehicles near the summit area.

10:20 a.m.: All of San Juan County is without power, according to Orcas Power and Light officials, affecting about 12,000 people.

10:19 a.m.: High winds knock out power to 2,900 in Lake Forest Park

10:15 a.m.:About 320 people who lost power along US 101 near Quinault have had power restored.

General Forecast:

With all the warnings and advisories issued today, I think we forgot one: The "Kitchen Sink" Advisory.

I think we've pretty much hit everything today: Rain, wind, mountain snow, lowland snow, and even a few thunderstorms off the coast.

The storm will continue to be a factor through the Friday evening, with a secondary wave of moderate west winds in spots possible later in the evening.

The National Weather Service has extended the Wind Advisory for Seattle/Puget Sound and Southwestern Washington area until 9 p.m., and the High Wind Warning has been extended until 9 p.m. for Northern Interior, and until 6 p.m. in Hood Canal Area and 7 p.m. along the coast. We still have potential gusts to 60 mph possible through these time frames.

As of 3:30 p.m., the storm was lollygagging its way into south/central Vancouver Island. The storm's slower pace is what caused the delay for a few hours and thus the need to extend the advisories. The wind will continue to gust in this general 35-45 mph range in the city with a rogue higher gust near the water and then taper off after sunset.

Snoqualmie Pass hit a bit of a lull this afternoon, but snow and wind was expected to pick up again in the evening. The good news is the strong west winds aren't looking quite as strong, so while we are expecting periods of blowing snow, it might not be as dire as originally feared. Still, plan for treacherous pass conditions.

Speaking of "Kitchen Sink", take a look at this time lapse video of the day out in Silverdale from Dr. Dale Ireland -- rain, then snow, then melting snow, then more rain, then wind!

Did It Really Snow Today?

Yes, it did, in some spots, believe it or not. Mainly on the Kitsap Peninsula and eastern Olympic Mountain foothills.

This is a fairly typical deal in winter where we get cold air trapped over there and then strong east/southeast winds ramp up the eastern slopes of the Olympic Mountains and squeeze out moisture -- in this case, it's snow due to the intensity of the precipitation. So far, reports of snow have come in from Belfair, Shelton, Quicene, Port Orchard and Silverdale -- mainly at places that have a few hundred feet of elevation.

But in some spots, it's not just a little snow. Check out this other video from Silverdale from our resident time lapse video provider:

Calming Saturday

By Friday night, rain and wind will be tapering off, although snow will continue to fall in the mountains. By Saturday, we are expecting just a mix of showers and sunbreaks -- something a little more typical of April.