Final Update 8AM Sunday – Final Storm of December procession could be biggest.

Final Update 8AM Sunday – Warning Over. A look at wind around the Island.

Environment Canada has removed the Wind warning for our area.  Once again, yesterday has proven that predicting high winds in Port Alberni is exceedingly difficult.  Our top gust at Alberniweather was only 38kph while Maquinna school got up to 58kph.  Warnings are still in effect for the West Coast.

Here are some graphs from stations around the Island.

Off the coast of Victoria. Wild.
In Greater Victoria.
In Nanaimo
In Tofino (it is a little protected, they would have seen higher elsewhere)
In fellow “Inland Vancouver Island” community of Gold River
Campbell River
And finally here.

image image

Update 11PM – Wind starts (for real this time?). Low much further south than expected. Walloping Victoria.

It seems the wind has finally come just now as I type.  And this image just tweeted by the National Weather Service in Seattle explains why it has been so calm all night.  We have basically been too close to the centre of the storm.  It has moved far down the Island and the full wind force is hitting Victoria and will head into the Lower Mainland.

I have added text and arrow in red to the NWS image marked in yellow.


Their analysis shows the low right over the Island near Gold River.  We are close enough to this “eye” to have been calm.  But that is now changing as the low moves east.  While NWS point out the tight lines of the pressure gradient in Puget Sound from 1001 in the south to 989 (12mb) at the border, our gradient is even stronger, from 998 to 984 (14mb).  Will those winds come greet us up the inlet? We will know overnight.

Update 8PM –  New Uwash Model shows winds landing further south.

First, a forecaster in Vancouver provides an explanation for why the winds have nit yet come.


It is hard to tell if the latest model is better or worse for our area.  It has the main force of the winds landing south of Bamfield rather than on the Tofino/Ucluelet Peninsula.

Here are the 7PM, 10PM, 1AM and 4AM wind gust.  As powerful as ever, but further south.

image image image image

The chance for very strong winds is still very much there.  We have already seen it in Victoria and it looks like the South Island is going to get a whole bunch more overnight.

The one difference with this model run is that it has the low stronger in the model at 979mb than what we are seeing measured.  Currently the lowest barometer reading is 981mb at Tahsis and holding steady.  That suggests slightly less strong winds than what we see in the images above.


Update 7:30PM – Waiting….

The storm continues to behave as the UWash originally forecast moreso than the other models.  No wind here so far.  The rest of the mofels that have updated since 4 insist we will still get wind.  The barometer agrees with them, so I am inclined to agree as well.  We must continue to wait and see.

I am inclined to think we will not see gusts over 70 tonight given what the models say but the possibility is still there.

It will be when the barometer starts to rise or just before that we likely get the wind.  That hasn’t happened yet though we have come off the ultimate low of 928mb

Keep the candles handy.

Update 4:30PM Incredible video of Victoria wind.

Is this what we have waiting when the wind shifts… we will find out soon.


Update 4PM – Barometer flattening, wind shifting. Strong winds should start soon.

WIND Warning Continued. Up To 90kph.

hile the East coast has been suffering all day we have been pretty much spared except for the rain.  This was expected though.

The graphs below show hints of the wind shifting and starting to pick up a little strength.


The barometer is also flattening out, which should mean the low is moving beside us more than toward or away.  That means it should be moving across to the norh of us and the satellite picture does seem to look as though it has indeed come ashore near Kyuquot.


The branhces are rustling… we are about to find out if this big wind is going to actually happen.

Update 12PM – Wind Warning continued. Wind begins on coasts. Low approaching.

The wind warning has been continued by EC.  Forecast remains the same.  Expect things to get gusty here by around 1-2PM and for the big winds to come around dinner time and after. Already some outages on the east side.

Current barometer reading is 994.7hPa and falling. Long way to go to 979.

It’s also pouring rain. 🙂

You can see the low in the satellite picture approaching the north island now, on track with the forecast.


Update 8AM Saturday – Storm landing slightly further south. Wind Warning in Effect for Port Alberni Gusts to 90kph possible.

Here is the warning in full.

4:30 AM PST Saturday 12 December 2015
Wind warning in effect for:

Inland Vancouver Island
Strong winds that may cause damage are expected or occurring.

A powerful Pacific low will bring locally strong southeast winds up to 70 km/h beginning late this morning. The strong winds will veer to the southwest and become more widespread by early this evening as the low crosses Vancouver Island. Wind gusts to 90 km/h are expected this evening. The winds will diminish overnight as the low moves east and weakens.

Damage to buildings, such as to roof shingles and windows, may occur. High winds may toss loose objects or cause tree branches to break. Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions due to high winds.

Here are the Canadian and US model predictions for wind. None say 90kph but all say at least 50 or 60kph and up to 80kph.

Can Gem

And what does our trusty UWash say? It’s not good news.  Instead of landing at the tip of the Island (see below 2PM update) it is now forescast to be just a smidgen lower near Cape Cook and Solander Island.


I would interpret that to the UWash agrees with the higher side of the wind gusts as the tight isobar lines are right on us now starting this evening.  The low is coming ashore at 976mb. Lower then the record I set on Thursday at my station.

Hang on tight and stay safe out there.

Update 7:45PM…. Gusts starting at 60 going to 80kph?

A few of the models have updated.  Here are the latest two:

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 7.38.48 PM
Canadian GEM
Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 7.39.33 PM
US RAP – Now just starting to get to the period when winds will start around noon.
Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 7.43.41 PM
US NAM. Notice the gusts start around 60kph here and go up to 80kph!


Update 4:40PM

From BC Hydro.


Here’s what other models are saying right now about peak winds.  The Canadian models don’t include Gusts.  The American models do.

Canadian LAM
Canadian LAM
Canadian GEM
Canadian GEM

First Update 2PM – Are you ready for one more time?

Yesterday we set a short term record on this station since 2006 for lowest barometric pressure in December.  That low pressure signalled the potential for strong winds… and we got them. Tomorrow we might or might not set another record for low pressure, but we could very well get even stronger winds.  I would not book a ferry anytime past the very first runs on Saturday until Sunday.

Quick Recap for Yesterday:

First, here’s the final word on yesterday.  We hit 978.2hPa (or millibars) or 97.82kPa at 9:05AM.  Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 12.24.50 PM

We got wind on both the down slope and upslope of that barometric pressure curve.

We had some strange East and Northeast winds through the night Wednesday and Thursday morning and I suspect all the damage out Beaver Creek occurred around 3:30AM when we registered a gust from the NE of 39kph.  There must have been strongest gusts than that to do the damage it did, but it was not a direction from which the Alberni Valley normally experiences high winds.

The wind shifted from East to South around 10AM… and then started to build.  We got a top gusts of 64kph at 2:41PM and similar until 2:55PM.  That coincides with when the power went out for thousands of city residents.

Oh!  And I forgot to post this video!  I took it around the same time as the top gusts in town.  2:45PM at Cameron Lake.  It was Howling!

Get ready for more Power Outages

Here’s what is coming at us (white arrow).  Notice yesterdays low is going ashore on the Oregon/Washington border.


Here’s where the next storm will be Saturday Evening.


See how much tighter the rings get?  It is actually strengthening as it gets here.  It is forecast to drop from 994hPa at the time of this original post (2PM Friday) to 978mb Saturday evening when it will bottom out as it comes ashore on North Vancouver Island.

That means there is potential for very strong wind for us from around Noon onwards.  There will also be rain (16-30mm), but I am going to focus on the wind.

When will wind Start?

Northerly breezes will begin in the Morning Saturday before 7AM as the low approaches but the main action will not begin until afternoon around 3-4PM when the wind shifts to the SE. Below we see the super-high res forecast has sustained winds at the head of the Inlet of 10knots or 20kph, gusts should be in the 30-40kph range.


The peak of the wind appears to be between 7PM and 10PM.


Sustained winds will be 15-20knots.  30-40kph.  Gusts could then reach to 70kph.

It will remain blustery all night.  Once the low passes to the East Sunday morning the winds will shift around to the NorthWest which might feel pretty cold.

Wondering what the outer coasts will feel?

Here is the first wave plowing into the North Island with 70knot (125kph) gusts Saturday morning as the low approaches.


The low comes ashore between 4-7PM.  We don’t want it to come any further south than this!


You can see it making landfall around Port Alice at 979hPa.  Good thing they’re used to it up there!


The low will then drift south between 10PM Saturday and 1AM  Sunday as it very slowly moves across the Island (notice the pressure listed on the bottom of the picture is still only 982hPa/mb)


This extended stay could mean serious damages from any places that are unlucky enough to be in the wind.  You’ll notice the Tofino/Ucluelet area will be receiving WSW gusts to 65knots (120kph).

The winds will gradually shift to the West and then North as the low passes through.

Tides/Storm Surge Synchronicity.

Lets hope these forecasts do Not pan out.  Thankfully, the tides look to be out of sync with this storm.  The time of peak wind around 10PM will be between low (7:18PM) and high (1AM) tide.  However, if the storm is late coming, it could creep closer to that High Tide and it is a fairly big one at 10.9ft.  Lets hope that does not happen as a storm like this will be pushing ocean with it and cause a potential storm surge if the winds come.

Stay Safe out there.  Batten down the hatches and have your candles ready.  Yesterday might have just been a warm up.  Or, as so often happens with the weather, all the preparation might be for nothing and the storm will miss us.  We will just have to wait and see.

I will have another update tonight when the new model runs are out.

And oh ya… it might just snow a little on Sunday.  Who knows. 🙂

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