Storms are moving through Western Washington. On Friday, several neighborhoods reported downed trees and power outages. Three people have been injured, including a 4-year-old boy in Seattle, due to the fierce winds.
This is a live account of Friday’s storms. FOLLOW MOST RECENT UPDATES ON SATURDAY’S STORM HERE.
What happened on Friday:
- Overall, Friday was seen as a preview, with pockets of frightening intensity that included a tornado in an Oregon beach town.
- First responders scrambled to help several people, including a 4-year-old boy, who were injured due to the fierce winds.
- Utility crews responded to tens of thousands of customers who lost electricity throughout the day.
- Look here for resources on storm preparation and weather monitoring.
This is a live account of Friday’s storms.
Update, Saturday, 9:45 a.m.:
The remnants of super typhoon Songda, which originated across the Pacific, are expected to roll through the region this afternoon and evening. The National Weather Service estimates peak winds to hit southwestern Washington, at the coast, about 2 p.m. The central sound and Seattle area should see peak winds about 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. The strongest winds in the northern parts of the state are expected to hit about 6 p.m.
Here’s a neat satellite image from overnight of the approaching weather system, its clouds just west of the California and Oregon coasts.
Update, 10:30 p.m.:
The number of power outages after Friday’s windstorm continues to decrease. Seattle City Light now says roughly 350 customers are without power. Puget Sound Energy reports a little more than 15,600.
Those numbers will change Saturday, though, when forecasters say wind speeds of 20 to 40 mph and gusts up to 65 mph tear through the region. Right now, they say those winds will pick up mid-afternoon and continue into early Sunday.
Heading into the storm, officials urge caution. Never approach or touch a downed power line or anything in contact with the wire. Also, locate an interior room that can be used as shelter during the high winds.
Update, 9:20 p.m.:
Meteorologists are closely tracking Saturday’s windstorm, trying to predict when and where it will strike land.
“Whoever gets hit, is going to get hit pretty hard,” National Weather Service meteorologist Jay Albrecht said.
The latest weather models show a variety of scenarios with slight differences. Forecasters say they will have a clearer idea early Saturday morning.
Update, 8:40 p.m.:
A Whidbey Island man in his 60s was hospitalized after a tree fell on him Friday while he was inspecting storm damage, according to a spokesman with the Island County Sheriff’s Office. No further details were immediately available.
Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Gregg said the 4-year-old boy injured when a branch in Seattle fell Friday afternoon remained in the hospital’s intensive-care unit with serious injuries.
Update, 8 p.m.:
Coast Guard rescuers helped a group from Camp David Jr. that became stranded on Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park.
KOMO reported the group of 40 children and six adults became stuck after the camp lost power and fallen trees blocked the main roads.
Rescue vessels made several trips to get the group safely to shore at Marymere Falls. No injuries were reported.
Meanwhile, the number of power outages across the region has dramatically lowered. Seattle City Light now says just 735 customers are without power. And Puget Sound Energy reports more than 21,450, roughly half of the total customers affected this afternoon.
Update, 5 p.m.
A high-wind advisory remains in effect until 6 p.m. A separate warning for Saturday’s storm begins tomorrow afternoon.
Update, 4:17 p.m.
Seattle City Light now says 10,235 customers are without power. Puget Sound Energy reports more than 40,720 customers without power.
Update, 3:20 p.m.
A 4-year-old boy was seriously injured Friday afternoon when a branch fell in Seattle’s Fauntleroy neighborhood, according to the Seattle Fire Department. The boy’s father suffered minor injuries.
Both were taken to Harborview Medical Center, fire authorities said.
The department responded to the incident in the 9100 block of California Avenue S.W., shortly after 1:50 p.m. No other details on the incident were immediately available.
Meanwhile, agencies across the region are reporting damage or traffic problems due to the weather. For instance, four cars were damaged by a fallen tree in Kirkland.
In Pierce County and South King County, officials reported hail.
Update, 1:26 p.m.
Update, 12:31 p.m.:
A tornado struck an Oregon beach town on Friday. Here’s some video:
Update, 12:24 p.m.:
Seattle City Light now says there are more than 7,500 customers without power. Puget Sound Energy reports more than 19,800 customers without power.
Update, 11:50 a.m.:
Here’s the latest Saturday forecast from the National Weather Service: We’re more than likely to get hit, but it might not go down in the history books.
Andy Haner, a meteorologist with the agency, said three of four weather models show a substantial Puget Sound windstorm coming through Saturday evening.
“We’re still in for it,” Haner said. But, “will this be the biggest windstorm of the past 10 years? I’m starting to see some chinks in that armor,” he said.
A historic windstorm would need to go directly over the Olympic peninsula and aim at Bellingham, he said. The latest models show the storm tracking about 40-50 miles west of that line.
He said the storm will likely bring sustained winds of 40 mph and gusts up to 60 mph to the Seattle area, and compared its severity to that of the storm last March that left a man dead after a tree fell on his car in Seward Park.
“I definitely don’t want to downplay it,” he said.
Update, 11:38 a.m.:
Nearly 20,000 Seattle City Light customers are now without power.
Update, 10:50 a.m.:
Join our Facebook Q&A. We are answering questions about the storm now.
Update, 10:45 a.m.:
Seattle City Light is reporting more than 15,000 customers without power. Large outages are reported in Magnolia and Queen Anne. Puget Sound Energy is reporting more than 13,000 customers without power.
Update, 10:20 a.m.
A damaged spit off coast of La Push won’t get fixed until after Saturday’s major storm, according to the Army Corps of Engineers, who requested emergency funding to make repairs.
The spit protects La Push from flooding during storm surges, like the one expected on Saturday night.
Update, 10:07 a.m.
Wind gusts of 43 mph were reported at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Update, 7:55 a.m.
The National Weather Service issued a warning for central King County until 8:15 a.m. A strong thunderstorm is moving northeast at 60 mph near Maple Valley or Kent. Half-inch hail and wind gusts of 50-55 mph are possible. The storm is causing torrential rainfall.
Here are impacted locations: Bellevue, Kent, Carnation, Renton, Sammamish, Issaquah, Maple Valley, Covington, Snoqualmie, Newcastle, Seatac, Tukwila, Black Diamond, Fall City, Mirrormont, Lake Morton-Berrydale, Pine Lake, Hobart, Maple Heights-Lake Desire and Lake Marcel-Stillwater.
Update, 7:12 a.m.
Power was lost at the Bremerton ferry terminal. About 5,000 Puget Sound Energy customers are without power in the region.
Update, 6:54 a.m.
A tornado warning was issued for Bay Center, Raymond and South Bend on the Washington coast until 7 a.m.
Update, 6:40 a.m.
Winds are expected to pick up throughout Friday, with gusts of 25 to 35 miles per hour – even as high as 50 mph – potentially hitting the Seattle area this afternoon, said National Weather Service meteorologist Dustin Guy.
The wind will likely die down Friday night, with a lull early Saturday before the big storm is expected to hit in the afternoon.
With winds from 65 mph to 75 mph predicted on Saturday, the weather service advises people to be prepared to lose power in the coming storm.
“It’s a good chance it will be the strongest windstorm since the Hanukkah Eve storm in 2006, when a lot of people were without power for several days because the damage was so widespread,” National Weather Service meteorologist Doug McDonnal said. “Some people were out power for a week.”
Update, 6:20 a.m.
Coastal communities in the Pacific Northwest saw more wind overnight, and even a tornado warning.
In Oregon, Portland General Electric reported that more than 4,000 customers were without power at 5 a.m. Friday. Pacific Power reported that 2,800 customers in coastal communities had no lights, down from a peak of more than 15,000.
Portland had the rainiest Oct. 13 in its history and the National Weather Service said a 103-mph wind gust was recorded at Cape Meares.
In Washington, Puget Sound Energy responded to scattered outages, reporting early Friday that more than 2,800 customers were still affected. Lightning strikes hit the southwest Washington coast Friday morning and a tornado warning was briefly in effect for Pacific County.
— The Associated Press
Update, 5:45 a.m., Friday:
The Seattle area made it through the night largely unscathed, but the National Weather Service continues to warn of 35 mph winds with gusts as high as 50 mph. A wind advisory is in place until 6 p.m.
On the coast, thunderstorms are moving ashore.
Update, 10:40 p.m.:
The National Weather Service has extended a high-wind warning for Western Washington into Friday afternoon.
Meteorologists are expecting sustained wind speeds, ranging between 25 and 40 mph and gusts up to 60 mph. The warning, which originally was set to expire early Friday, is now in effect until 3 p.m.
Over the past 24 hours, Mason County measured almost 6 inches of rain, according to the service. Areas on the coast received between 2 and 3 inches. And the Seattle area measured the lowest amount, with about 1.5 to 2 inches so far, the service says.
Update, 9:40 p.m.:
What do the storms look like from above? NASA has the answer:
Update, 9:10 p.m.:
Now meteorologists say wind speeds in the Puget Sound region will pick up after midnight and potentially again Friday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
“They’re just starting to pick up on the coast,” meteorologist Dustin Guy. “It’s fairly calm now,” he said of the Seattle area conditions.
Earlier, the forecast did not show the potential for high winds on Friday. Now, Guy said there’s a chance of high winds in the early morning and again between noon and 2 p.m.
The Washington Emergency Management Division retweeted this radar image of the storm.
Update, 8 p.m.:
The National Weather Service has issued a new high-wind watch for Saturday’s storm, which meteorologists say will hit in the evening. (They could change the “watch” to a warning, which means a windstorm is expected or occurring, before Saturday.)
The latest forecast models for Saturday show a good chance of the system moving northeast across the Olympic Peninsula and into the Puget Sound region. In that scenario, the Seattle area could see wind gusts as high as 70 mph, forecasters said. Wind speeds, they said, would likely peak Saturday evening.
“It’s been awhile; it’s been almost 10 years since we’ve had a significant storm,” National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Michalski said. “We certainly could get power outages and tree damage, but really it’s the protection of life and property” that warrants concern.
The storm formed from remnants of Typhoon Songda, which originated 5,000 miles from Seattle. Typhoons and hurricanes are essentially the same type of storm. Here for more on Songda.
For Thursday’s storm, a high-wind warning remains in effect until early Friday morning. Meteorologists say southerly winds will increase along the coast Thursday evening and peak around midnight.
Update, 5:55 p.m.:
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray held a news conference to discuss the upcoming storms, as well as his plan for homeless-camping changes.
He announced the opening of an additional 100 shelter beds for the homeless Saturday and Sunday night at Seattle Center Fisher Pavilion due to storm, along with the following shelter information.
Original post, 5:10 p.m.:
Meteorologists are expecting heavy rain and southerly winds — with sustained speeds between 25 to 40 mph and gusts up to 60 mph — to increase throughout Thursday evening.
They say those speeds will peak between midnight and daybreak. A high-wind warning remains in effect until 7 a.m. Friday.
The wet and windy conditions are tangling traffic throughout the Puget Sound region during the Thursday evening commute. State transportation officials are reporting on delays and collisions with @wsdot_traffic.
“#TravelTimes are rough. Stay safe: watch speeds, give plenty of distance, keep your lights on and keep 2 hands on the wheel!” the agency tweeted around 5:15 p.m.
As of now, Seattle’s Parks and Recreation Department says all Environmental Learning Centers will keep their regular operating schedules throughout Friday and the weekend. Monitor the department’s website or Parkways Blog for updated information.
For Saturday’s storm, low-pressure system could fly over the north tip of the Olympic Peninsula and into the Puget Sound region, potentially as a record-breaking storm. Meteorologists will know more about the system’s tracking on Friday.