Anticipating the Storm

Windy and rainy through the day, though the peak of the storm is not supposed to hit until later tonight. Around dinner time there were a couple different flashes of lightning, with thunder rolling a few seconds later.

It’s been a day of anticipating the storm moving across Gulf of Alaska today.

I might have preferred if the storm peaked here during daylight hours, so I could get out and see the water, that’s not how it’s happening with this one.

Peak winds that Sitka will see are forecast to happen in a couple of pulses. One peak happened around 9pm. It’s been gusty at my house, but with winds out of the Southeast, we don’t usually experience the full impact here.

A second peak in winds is predicted to happen around 1-2am after the center has moved further East. These winds will be from the Southwest, which I hit my neighborhood much harder. I expect to be woken up at least a time or two by particularly strong gusts. I am also guessing the power will go out at some point.

It’s been interesting to keep an eye on the Cape Edgecumbe buoy page today. Sustained winds peaked at about 45kts (~52mph) for around forty minutes from 7:40-8:20pm. The highest gust reported was 64kts (~74mph). Looking at the graphics, it appears the buoy was just at the edge of the most intense winds, but may see another peak around midnight.

In the two hours before it got dark there were a couple there were a couple of intense photo sets showing the building waves at the buoy. Wave heights at the time were reported as being in the low 20s. They continued to build to a peak (so far) of 41ft shortly before 10pm. I think this may be the highest I have seen reported for this buoy.

I’ve seen several folks post versions of the image below on social media today. Several include comments about the hurricane in the Atlantic happening at the same time.

This Gulf of Alaska storm has a low pressure center almost as low as the hurricane, but is much larger. Peak winds in the hurricane are greater, but over a relatively small circle around the eye.

I think in part because of the different mechanisms which cause them to develop, storms out here have strong winds spread much more broadly, though not wrapping completely around the low pressure center.

I did get out for a bit today, mostly to check for birds on the water. I did see one Fork-tailed Storm-petrel in the Channel, but otherwise nothing out of the ordinary. I’ll try to get up in the morning to look around in case anything blows in with the Southwest winds in the later part of the night.

My iNaturalist Observations for Today

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