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by Chris Scragg
Puget Sound Weather Geek
Post-Tropical Storm Oho Impacts:
- Increasing rainfall beginning Friday. Heaviest on the coast and Olympic Mountains.
- Breezy to gusty conditions in the Puget Sound.
- Mild & humid air.
This image started quite a “row” among weather enthusiasts in the Northwest on Tuesday as it appeared to forecast the track of a dying hurricane to approach the Pacific Northwest.
After reviewing the models, the forecasters at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center changed the track of the dying hurricane much further north. This is the current forecast track:
Can We Even Get Hurricanes in The Northwest?
Technically, no. Tropical storms and hurricanes are fueled by very warm ocean water (~70°+). Once a tropical system drifts toward us, it moves over a big barrier of chilly water off the North American Coast.
However, if the atmospheric conditions are just right, a once-tropical storm can transform into something just as dangerous as a hurricane. On Columbus Day in 1962, the remnants of Typhoon Freda drifted into the perfect atmospheric conditions to become the strongest extra-tropical storm to hit America in the 20th century.
The Columbus Day Storm decimated the Oregon coasts with wind gusts over 120mph and hammered the Puget Sound with gusts around 100mph.
Now you can see why weather geeks might get excited (and somewhat nervous) when a tropical system starts to move our way.
1962 Columbus Day Storm: http://www.climate.washington.edu/stormking/October1962.html
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