Weather Blog

Funnel cloud caps off stormy 24 hours

Funnel cloud caps off stormy 24 hours
Photo by Tyson Gamblin

We've had strong winds, heavy rain, mountain snow, hail, lightning, thunder, and mammoth coastal waves over the past 24 hours. But for those of you playing weather bingo today, if "funnel cloud" was the last one you needed to make the winning line, stand up and shout "Bingo!" now.

A strong storm cell moved through the Enumclaw Friday afternoon, providing what appeared to be a funnel cloud.

The photo above was taken by Tyson Gambin from Enumclaw. And here is some video and a photo Laura Cole of Enumclaw snapped from her cell phone:

And here is another photo of the storm by Steven Williams of Buckley:

And here are two more taken by Mark R. Taeschner:

A little later, another line of rain and thunderstorms moved through the Seattle area. Here are some lightning strikes that hit just after 5 p.m., looking north from Fisher Plaza near Seattle Center. (Thanks to KOMO Radio's Tom Glasgow for getting the video)



The funnel cloud was just the latest event in a very stormy period that started with high winds in Northern Washington Thursday that buffeted Bellingham with 50 mph winds through the day, reaching a peak gust of 58 mph.

As we got into the evening, a strong cold front moved through, bringing a burst of heavy rain and gusty winds to 40-45 mph across the rest of the Puget Sound area. A gust of wind at Paine Field in Everett registered 55 mph at 7:30.

The weather calmed down for a few hours afterward, but then came the Big Kahuna -- a line of strong thunderstorms that formed and moved through the greater Seattle area around 11 p.m. with ferocious lightning, heavy rain, and hail.

Here is what it looked like on the radar:

Lightning struck a power pole in Seattle's Leschi neighborhood and knocked out power to 83 people. Overall, about 11,000 people lost power in Seattle while 5,500 were in the dark in Tacoma.

Showers continued overnight and into Friday, but they were fairly calm until around 3 p.m. when the funnel cloud blew though.

Showers and thunderstorms were expected to continue through Saturday afternoon before calming down into Sunday.

One Big Storm

The weather fireworks were all caused by a massive storm that formed in the Gulf of Alaska.

As we mentioned in Thursday's blog the storm from which our rain and wind came from was quite incredible. A buoy out in the middle of it in the Gulf of Alaska reported a pressure of just 946 millibars, which is about 27.95" on the mercury scale and just short of Category 4 hurricane strength, had it been a hurricane.

But in addition to the thunderstorms, funnel clouds and wind, it also created some mammoth waves along the coast. Waves were as high as 25-28 feet.

And it'll also be bringing the season's first big mountain snowstorm. As much as 6-12" could fall in spurts in the Cascade passes through Saturday evening, with perhaps 2 feet of snow in the higher elevations.

Weather looks a bit calmer next week, although still soggy. But those of you waiting for "dust storm" or "blizzard" to make your Bingo... I would probably go find another card :)