What Makes It Windy In The Foothills?

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By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - There are days where those of you who live in North Bend, Enumclaw and Gold Bar can get strong easterly winds while the rest of the area stays relatively calm.

This happens when we get a strong area of high pressure in Eastern Washington and a storm tracking up the coast. When the storm's center of low pressure is just offshore to our west, that creates a large difference in pressure between eastern and western Washington.

Air will try to move from east to west to equalize the pressure, but the Cascades act like a barrier. That leaves the mountain passes as the only option for the air to squeeze through. And as the air constricts, it speeds up, making for a strong easterly wind.

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