Saturday, February 9, 2019

Big Blowdown at Moran State Park and Winter Field Notes

Samish Bay and the Chuckanuts

The winter weather event has covered the entire state with a mix of winter stories. I managed to have two field days between the storm systems. One day entailed a projects on Hood Canal, Olympia and Kent. I appreciated that Skagit County had plowed many of the county roads so I could reach I-5 with ease.

It is not very often that this shows up on the temperature gauge:

10 degrees at Conway in southern Skagit County

The second trip was a team effort with Ben and Geoff to the San Juan Islands. 
Early morning view of Mount Baker an Twin Sisters through Obstruction Pass

Trace of snow over a covering of big leaf maple leaves over loose talus made for tricky walking 

Examining a fracture opening near cliff top

 Orcas Island did not get much snow in the first storm, but did get wind. Whatcom County and the San Juan Islands get the brunt of cold outflow winds from the Fraser Valley. Within the San Juans, Orcas Island gets the hardest blast. The air from those outflow winds is cold.  A micro burst downdraft wave must have come down the lee side of Mount Constitution taking out dozens of large trees (Damage to Moran State). 

We got a glimpse of the trees blown over and some cases simply snapped off while passing through Moran State Park.

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