First Snow

Published at 20:53 on 29 November 2014

It happened this morning. Normally that would be the big weather deal of the day, but not this time. As often happens here, the snow was facilitated by arctic outflow winds coming from the BC interior via the Fraser River Canyon.

A little after 8:30 AM, the outflow winds really kicked into high gear, going from strong and gusty to gale-force. The power went out shortly thereafter, and stayed out for the rest of the morning. Thankfully, my old place (where I was packing at the time) was well-insulated enough that it didn’t get excessively chilly inside very fast, despite the winds and frigid temperatures outside.

When it did start getting uncomfortable, I decided to run an errand to Poulsbo, where I then ate lunch. By the time I got back two hours later, the power was back on.

The wind was noticeably less severe in Poulsbo. Apparently it was a localized phenomenon restricted to areas close to Puget Sound, which was acting as a path of least resistance for the arctic outflow. The National Weather Service apparently didn’t see it coming, as no advisories or warnings for high winds were issued for this area.

What surprised me is how some people didn’t see the snow coming. Even if they hadn’t been listening to the weather forecasts, yesterday Mother Nature was shouting her own warnings. It was a day of pelting cold rain that got colder hour by hour. It was, to me anyhow, a classic “this rain will change to snow” type storm.

Maybe there were wind warning signs, too, signs I missed because I haven’t lived on Bainbridge Island for that long. I will say that we do really tend to get the winds here; the water gives them ample opportunity to rev up speed before they hit the island. Maybe in a few years I’ll learn some sort of sign that an arctic outflow wind is going to end up strong and damaging, like the more typical southerly storm winds can be.

Sorry, no pictures yet. My cameras are now packed.

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