[Insert Creative Wind Storm Title Here]

NAM wind 10 metre wind speed forecast for Tueday morning. SE Gales return again to the Strait of Georgia. Miss them yet? More Possible BC Ferry disruptions and scattered power outages. 

NAM wind 10 metre wind speed forecast for Tueday morning. SE Gales return again to the Strait of Georgia. Miss them yet? More Possible BC Ferry disruptions and scattered power outages. 

Hey,

Last night at 5:12 PM I lost power, which is funny because a few minutes before I was thinking I should reserve 'live blogging' strictly to high impact events. You know, the truly severe weather events.

But then 32,000 of us lost power... over the course of the evening.

A positive note Mt. Washington received an incredible 90 cm of fresh powder over the past 2 days. How a resort can go from snow starved to blizzard conditions in a matter of a few days, I don't know. 

Rumour has it Mt. Cain on Vancouver Island is also slated to open. 

The weather wizards at Environment Canada compiled a list of the highest wind gusts from last night, and once you glance at the list, it becomes obvious why so many of us lost power yesterday evening. 

The following are unofficial peak gusts (km/h) recorded for BC on Sunday, February 16 (Official summary can be read here)

Herbert Island SE 107
Saturna Island SE 106
Sandspit Airport SE 98
Tsawwasen Ferry Terminal SE 93
Estevan Point SE 91
Sandheads SE 89
Comox Airport SE 80
Vancouver Airport SE 70
Powell River Airport SE 65
Victoria Airport SE 65
Abbottsford Airport SE 61
Campbell River Airport: SE 59

Yeah...the 93 at Tsawwasen will definitely knock a few off the grid. 

Through my experience tracking storms on the west coast, there's a magic number or threshold it seems where scattered outages start to become more widespread. The cold front was extra vigorous and somewhat convective in nature -- it appears some of the extreme low level jet wind speeds mixed down to the surface last night.

Up to 70 km/hr wind gusts seems to be the odd issue, scattered power outages, tree limbs blowing and contacting the wires. 

  • No major impacts

80-90 km/hr wind gusts: More widespread power/infrastructure issues

  • Normally 1,000-10,000 outages reported

100 km/hr+ wind gusts: Widespread power outages (100,000+ customer loss possible) 

These is completely unscientific, and something I've observed with my time on the West Coast. Of course there are SO many other variables for power cuts, including what season (deciduous trees still have their canopy), how saturated the soil is, how strong are the sustained winds, wind direction etc. 

SO. MANY. VARIABLES.

Wonder if you've noticed the same thing? 

Often the greatest number of power outages for the Lower Mainland occur during a westerly surge event, like when the Hanukkah eve storm of 2006 blew through (where over a 250,000 British Columbians lost power, some for several days) along with the historic damage to beloved Stanley Park.

Anyway Tomorrow's Storm Info

* Right now, I'd say YQQ/Comox and Campbell River will experience the strongest winds on the inner South Coast with sustained Gales again Tuesday morning between 6-9am. Some of the smaller routes on BC Ferries will be delayed and cancelled tomorrow morning, so follow them for updates

  • Look for gusts in that 70-90 km/hr range down by the beaches again
  • And who's knows, Tsawwassen might squeak out a gust over 80 tomorrow a little later in the morning.   

And... Because people like to know when it's going to rain... but note the time in this radar simulation is in EST, so remember to subtract 3 hours. 

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#50ShadesofVan