Downed trees, power outages likely as wind sweeps through Puget Sound

Jan 4, 2023, 12:51 PM
Seattle wind...
Intense wind is expected across the Puget Sound region on Wednesday. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Wind is coming to the Puget Sound region late Wednesday, strong enough to down trees and cause power outages.

“The strongest winds will be in the Cascade foothills region with gusts of 50 to 60 mph likely,” KIRO Newsradio meteorologist Ted Buehner said. “Strong winds will blow through the gaps in our complex terrain, such as the Cascade passes and gaps to the outer coast.”

The National Weather Service in Seattle reports the winds will be here by mid-afternoon Wednesday and continue through Thursday morning.

“Gap winds are terrain-induced strong winds that blow thru gaps in areas like the Cascades,” Ted said. “An analogy would be water that gently flows downstream but then encounters a narrow gorge where the water flows much more rapidly. That is what happens with gap winds.”

Driving may be difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles.

“So winds downstream from Snoqualmie, Stampede, White, and Stevens passes can be quite strong, sometimes exceeding 50 mph,” Ted said. “These winds can blow down trees and create power outages, while areas further away from the Cascades feel far less wind.”

California braces for more storms following Saturday’s flood

From meteorologist Nick Allard and the KIRO 7 weather team:

As a very large and powerful low-pressure storm system moves closer to the region, the wind will be drawn offshore (from east to west), and the locations susceptible to Cascade gap winds (Enumclaw, North Bend, as far west as Seatac) could have gusts over 40 mph to possibly 55 mph late today and tonight. Same goes for coastal locations. A Wind Advisory is in effect for these spots that goes until tomorrow morning at 4. Elsewhere, it’ll be breezy into Wednesday night, but winds should top out in the 20-35 mph range. The peak of the wind will be late tonight.

We should stay breezy on Thursday with scattered showers. I see another round of rain for Friday with some gusty to breezy spots. Most of Saturday looks dry until Saturday evening when some rain returns. We’ll keep scattered showers in the forecast for Sunday.

Nick Allard and the KIRO 7 Pinpoint Weather Team contributed to this report

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Downed trees, power outages likely as wind sweeps through Puget Sound