Weather Blog

178 mph winds? Now *that's* a storm!

178 mph winds? Now *that's* a storm!

Sure, November was pretty dog gone windy around here -- what with places like Bellingham and Oak Harbor Washington registering several consecutive hours with gusts over 50 mph during storms in the middle of last month.

Up in Attu Alaska, that would be considered a slight breeze.

A ferocious storm tore through that remote outpost on the western end of the Alaska Aleutian Islands -- a tiny speck you'll barely find on any map out in the middle of the North Pacific.

I was sent these photos from a few people, one from reader Mark Strecker whose brother is one of the lucky ones to be stationed there.  Yes, that says max wind gust of 178 mph -- that's on par with a Category 5 hurricane and more than double the peak winds of our infamous December 2006 "Hanukah Eve" windstorm.   His brother says there are 7-foot storm drifts.

ABC says Attu is also home to about 20-active duty members of the U.S. Coast Guard, and they had to stay in the main building at the station while the winds ripped away at the place.

Storms in this part of Alaska are not uncommon, but Coast Guard officials say the strength of the winds from this storm was abnormal.