Monday, December 03, 2007

The Pineapple Express

Weather...well, here in the NW it is wind and rain that gets your attention. Two low pressure systems smacked the coast this weekend. The first was just a taste of the second. Aleene was out at Lincoln City from Friday until Sunday and while they knew there was going to be a storm...they braved the elements, but did make it home ok. Sunday evening the second storm hit and Zowie...109 mph winds, trees down, 12-20 inches of rain, which has everyone quivering inside this morning.

First, let me say that they over hype things here in the valley. We have had 3 inches plus, each day now, but the winds are in the 35-45 kt gust range. There are some power outages and there is some flooding. It looks like US 31 Bypass between 40th and 32nd streets in Holland, but on a bit larger scale. But the coast has been shut off.

This happened last year at this time, too. There were two tropical systems which they call the Pinapple Express that have crashed into the coast...much like a hurricane, but they do not travel in a defined ball like a hurricane. They are more like cyclonic waves that come out of the southern hemisphere.

As an aside, Gary reported 2-3 inches of rain in the West Valley this weekend. I saw the radar of that coming up over Baja California into Arizona and wondered what the desert might see...well, the dry river beds are no long dry for a few days. Gary did say there was no appreciable damage and it left the air good rains sometimes do.

Talked to Jeff last night (while doing a continental weather round-up) and he reports a foot of snow on the ground with more on the way. He talked to us as he was driving home from work at 12:15 a.m Eastern.

Anyway here in Oregon, the ocean has produced some 70 foot waves with sustained winds of 80 kts. Inland, it floods the lowlands and blows trees down. Highways 18 and 22 which several of you have traveled with us are closed due to trees being down. So are the other E-W highways through the coast range.

The story that caught our attention was the demise of the 700 year old Sitka Spruce up near Seaside (on the coast just south of Astoria) which is touted as the largest Sitka in Oregon...they are primarily in Washington. The storm last year damaged it and this year finished it off. I tried to get some video from the TV channels, but I could not get a good just imagine...there, that's good.

But life goes on. We have power and our local kids have school. Aleene goes to FISH and I go to the gym.

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