In preparations for the storm on Oct. 15-16, Seattle had braced for winds expected to move up the Washington coast. The city had hunkered down by shutting its parks, preparing emergency resources, and opening more slots at homeless shelters. Events like the Maple Viewing Festival at Seattle Japanese Garden were canceled.
The storm — forecasted to be one of the worst in a decade, and compared to the Hanukkah Eve storm of 2006 — fizzled out. And now, a lot of people are saying that local weather forecasters overhyped it.
KING 5’s Rich Marriott said, “Based on the scientific stuff we had going into it, to ignore [the storm] would have been irresponsible. Meteorologist Mary Lee agreed. “We’re glad that people were ready – they were prepared. And still we did have some strong wind gusts, 50 to 55 mile-an-hour wind gusts for Puget Sound. We had gusts up to 65 along the coast. It wasn’t a catastrophic wind event and we’re glad that did not happen.”
The National Weather Service in Seattle said on Twitter, “3500+ miles of open ocean + a half dozen global forecast models with differing solutions in time and space = difficult forecast.”
You’ve likely seen the meme on social media of a toppled lawn chair and the words, “Seattle Stormageddon 2016. We will rebuild.”
While the storm damage wasn’t nearly as bad as forecasted, tens of thousands of customers in the Seattle area lost power, as downed trees were reported across the region.
I bet those people were happy to be prepared with emergency supplies.
On Saturday, Oct. 15, emergency workers treated a 4-year-old boy with serious injuries and his father for minor injuries, after they were struck by a falling tree branch. They were transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. I bet they were grateful for emergency responders being on alert.
Weather forecasters do the best they can with what they’ve got. Wouldn’t you rather be over prepared for a lack of a storm, than be unaware of the possibility of a storm and get caught off guard?
The weather will do what it wants, when it wants. The best technology cannot predict the forces of nature.
And look at it this way. Last weekend was a test run. So what? You now have food and water for at least three days, lots of candles, a battery-operated or hand-cranked flashlight and radio, and possibly a backup generator.
Appreciate the fact that you are now prepared for the rest of winter in western Washington.