Why Friday weather won't be as bad as Nov. 2015 wind storm

A wind advisory goes into effect tonight and continues through tomorrow evening. 

Thursday night and Friday are going to be very windy.

Just the mention of the word 'wind' puts a lot of us on edge that lived through the "Wind Storm" of November 2015. 

The storm event brought wind gusts powerful enough to knock down thousands of large trees, created week long record-power outages for 200,000+ families, and killed two people.

Many of us lived without power during below-freezing temperatures until Thanksgiving Day.

Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency the day after the wind storm. 

So, it is important to explain why this week's wind event will be strong, but it is not on track to be as catastrophic as last year's event. 

Here's why:

Last year's storm packed wind gusts of 65-75 mph. Spokane International Airport recorded a gust of 71 MPH. The highest gusts recorded on Nov. 17, 2015 were considered to be hurricane-force winds. This is not typical of a fall Inland Northwest storm. 

Friday will bring wind gusts more in the 40-50 mph range. The strongest winds will peak once in the morning before dawn, and again later in the afternoon and evening hours. 

In this range, scattered power outages are possible from tree limbs on power lines. Some trees will be weakened by shallow roots in saturated ground. These trees may topple. But, 40-50 mph gusts are usually not strong enough to topple healthy, strongly-rooted trees. 

Winds this strong can also make driving difficult. High profile vehicles driving on Highway 195 and other north/south routes may be hard to control. 

Please stay safe! Secure loose items in your yard before high winds begin overnight. Also, give yourself a little extra time for the Friday morning commute. 

(© 2016 KREM)


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