Photos: Damage from Olympic Mountain wave windstorm in Port Angeles


    Aerial view of wind damage in Port Angeles (Photo: KOMO News/Air 4)

    What a storm!

    A rare mountain wave wind event struck the northern Olympic Peninsula on Friday, bringing at least 50-55 mph gusts around town, toppling several trees and power lines, and knocking out power to several thousand.

    Air 4 made the journey up to Port Angeles to survey the damage on Monday and there were still several trees down and power yet to restore.

    The unusually strong winds were caused by an approaching potent storm that sent southerly winds smashing into the Olympic Mountains.

    As the winds climbed over the mountain summits, they rolled down the lee side of the mountains in waves of wind -- similar to how waves in the ocean build and crash, only with air.

    A cross section of winds coming down the Olympic Mountains (Map is looking east, Olympic Mountains are on right, Strait of Juan de Fuca is the flat area on the left. Photo provided by Cliff Mass)

    Some spots just over the mountains had estimated wind gusts of 70-90 mph! Cougar Mountain in eastern Clallam County had a gust of 78 mph.

    Of course, the main storm system eventually went east, knocked out power to over 200,000 in the I-5 corridor, and made for a harrowing ferry ride!




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