Update 11:30PM – Storm Done – Canadian Model wins.
This will be the final update on this post. The Wind Warning has been lifted. The storm has crossed the Strait and winds are diminishing quickly. In the end, it looks like the Canadian model won the day.
It predicted the track last night nearly perfectly. It is not usually the one most rely on, especially with the other models end up in such close agreement.
The massive winds did not materialize because the storm ended up being much more compact than it could have been. But there were still a number of places that saw gusts of over 100kph and many many people are without power. So it was far from a dud. It just proved once again that predicting these storms exactly is incredibly hard. Especially as they traverse 1000s of miles of empty ocean with very little observation before they get here.
Take care all.
Update: 9:30PM Gusty Conditions have come but most of the damage is on East side.
Moderate gusts have come to Port Alberni but we’ll see if they build at all.
This storm was an excellent example of why meteorologists are always conservative and spread warnings widely.
The centre of the storm tracked around 100km west of where it was expected to be. Bringing it very nearly far enough out of line with the most ‘popular’ model (US GFS) to deliver us extreme winds.
Just put out by EC specifically mentioning Port Alberni. We may get hit, we may not. We are right on the edge!
Issued at 2016-10-16 02:06 UTC by Environment Canada:
Wind warning issued for:
Inland Vancouver Island, B.C. (081500)
Strong winds that may cause damage are expected or occurring.
The third and strongest in a series of storms will cross the Vancouver early this evening. The storm contains energy from remnants of Typhoon Songda. With the current trajectory, the low will pass very close to Port Alberni later this evening. At that time, the winds will shift abruptly to the southwest and gusts as strong as 90 km/h are quite likely over Inland Vancouver Island from Port Alberni southward.
Wind warnings are also in effect for other regions of the Inner South Coast.
High winds may toss loose objects or cause tree branches to break.
Avoid wooded areas to prevent injury from falling trees or branches. Campers should move to sturdy shelters.
Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet reports to #BCStorm.
More details on the alert are available here.
Update 7PM – Low continues to deepen follows model track. Will it South VI full force. Stay prepared.
The NWS just tweeted this.
It looks like the low is not going to impact the Washington Coast and instead will keep strengthening until it hits Vancouver Island somewhere near Nitinat (between Bamfield and Port Renfrew).
Basically exactly the same as the Euro and NAM tracks last night!
It looks like it will miss the mountains of the Olympics and may built riht into Vancouver Island. That means we will have to wait to see if the low deflects north or south. North and East coast and Port Alberni may get more severe winds than otherwise expected today. South and it will be Victoria or Vancouver that gets it.
There are already thousands without power including some in Beaver Creek in the north end of the Alberni valley.
Update 4:30PM – Winds begin. Already 90-100kph marine gusts.
The low is now on the doorstep. Winds are starting to feed into the kow from the coast as we see NE winds pick up including here with gusts to 45kph.
It is now passing Destruction Island off the Washington coast.
We will all be watching this through the evening and night. Already lots of people without power on the Island. There will be many more.
Update 9AM Saturday – Models agree. Low to pass over South Island Victoria and Vancouver winds 100kph or more. Port Alberni Valley max 75kph tonight.
Watch this short update. It explains it well. We in Port Alberni will just miss it, but oher locations just to the south on the Island may get extreme winds pf 100kph or more and Vancouver is in the crosshairs. It begins around 2PM with peak around dinner time.
There are wind warnings for Victoria, East Vancouver Island (likely Nananimo and below), the Gulf Islands and Metro Vancouver with winds expected of up to 100kph.
You may think it is all good in Port Alberni but Please stay prepared.
This high resolution image for midnight tonight shows expected peak wind gusts. You can see the Alberni Valley has a peak in the orange, 40 knot or 75kph. That is still the strongest we have seen. These may be from the NE down the Valley so Beaver Creek / Beaufort area.
The storm is literally passing within sight of the Alberni Valley. It is predicted over the Cowichan Valley. We will see the stars.
That means that any small shift to the north of only 50 km or so could bring more extreme winds to us. The top gusts on that map in white are 98knots, 180kph on the Olympic mountain range. Top gusts in Delta and Tsawwassen, 68knot or 125kph. They will park the ferries for sure.
So tay prepared and stay safe. This is a very dangerous storm and high damage and tree fall is likely on the South Island and Vancouver. There will also be short, but heavy rain.
Update 10:15PM Friday – Models start to converge slightly toward Juan de Fuca.
The 5PM/00Z models are out and there has been a slight shift in two of them as they converge.
Here is the UWash GFS and the NAM
The NAM (bottom) has changed quite a lot, shifting to the South from Vancouver Island to Washington State. with the low moving through Juan de Fuca. The UWash/GFS has shifted slightly north of that but still mostly in Washington State with the low then moving over Victoria but strongest winds staying in Puget Sound. So the strongest winds will stay south of the Island.
The fact the most reliable model (UWash) came up and another came to near agreement makes me think we are seeing a final track. We will have to see what the Canadian and European models say when they update soon. But that will be for a morning post.
Sleep tight all.
Ex-Typhoon Songda may be epic for regions south of Port Alberni.
Storm #2 is not quite finished, there is still potential high winds on the back end of the clear blue sky, but it mostly has passed. So now we shift our focus to the main event, ex-Typhoon Songda.
I will be updating this post through the weekend.
Today’s storm produced 100kph winds on Saturna Island and 80kph in Abbotsford and Bellingham. Songda will be stronger.
We also now have had multiple days of rain and wind, softening root systems and weakening trees. Unless the models are very wrong, wherever this storm hits, it will cause major blowdowns like 2006.
So the literal multi-million dollar question is, where will it hit. Unfortunately, there is enough difference in the models still that we can’t say for sure who will get the worst. Here are the latest model track predictions from the US National Weather Service.
The green, northernmost track goes straight over Port Alberni. You may think this means we will get the worst of it but todays low also went straight over Port Alberni, highest winds are usually a bit south of the centre. So the good news is that for the low to track further north than that for us to get the absolute worst winds 4 of 4 models would need to be very wrong. And the most reliable one in the area, the US GFS Uwash would have to be completely out to lunch. That would not be unprecedented but it would be surprising this close to the event.
All that said, while we in Port Alberni may not get the highest extreme speed winds from the SW from the front of the storm, we could still get very strong winds from the NE on the top or back of the storm.
Lower Mainland and Victoria potential.
The people who will be most concerned about the tracks in the picture above are the folks in the Lower Mainland and Victoria and South Island that have already been hit hard today. 3 of the 4 tracks go just to the north of those areas, and that means they will be in the crosshairs for the worst winds. Be,ow is one example. Notice the circle of the low overtop the Cowichan Valley.
The image above shows (in brown) potential gusts up to 80knots/148kph off Sooke and in areas of Delta and Point Robers and over 110kph in many other places.
These are very damaging winds obviously. I will leave it there for now. I will monitor the UWash/GFS and other models as they start to produce their 5PM/00Z output and update later tonight.
Take care and prepare.