Wind impacting Puget Sound part of larger storm pummeling California

Jan 9, 2023, 5:25 PM


In an aerial view, a tree and utility pole are seen resting on Nicasio Valley Road after being toppled by high winds on January 05, 2023 in Nicasio, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

From snow to ice storms and now wind, there seems to be no end to the wild weather in the Puget Sound area over the past several weeks.

The windstorm that started off the workweek for the Puget Sound region saw trees downed around the area, killing one person in Fall City and plunging tens of thousands of residents into the dark. At the time of writing this article, 15,500 Puget Sound Energy customers were without electricity, along with 1,500 Seattle City Light customers.

“We’re seeing another surge of east wind coming out of the Cascade passes,” said KIRO Newsradio meteorologist Ted Buehner. He explained that the low-pressure system “really tightened up the pressure differences from Eastern Washington through the Cascades to the Westside,” leading to the strong winds.

Windy conditions cause 20,000 to lose power across Puget Sound region

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory for parts of the state through noon. Wind gusts were upwards of 50 miles per hour — as strong as an F0 tornado — with one gust at Sea-Tac nearly reaching 60.

Buehner said this wind is part of the same storm wreaking havoc in California.

“The associated frontal system is what is hammering California,” Buehner said.

In California, the heavy wind and rain have caused flooding, mudslides, and widespread power outages, prompting President Biden to declare a state of emergency in the state. The BBC reports that 12 people have died in the storms that have battered California since New Year’s.

More from Nicole Jennings: King County Councilmember wants to require businesses to accept cash

Thankfully, the storm should move out of Washington without causing as much devastation, as winds die down this evening.

“The parent low-pressure system is arcing its way off our coast and heading straight north,” Buehner said.

The next couple of days should bring relatively non-headline-making weather — until the next atmospheric river arrives late in the week.

Follow Nicole Jennings on Twitter or email her here

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