Monday, December 17, 2012

Whidbey Island

This morning was already going to be a very high tide, but an incoming storm turned it into something special.  Below are the barometric pressure and tides in Seattle for the last two days.  As pressure dropped yesterday, the water levels rose above their predicted levels (green curve is difference).  This added "surge" increased to about 2' last night, then fell off a little by morning as the system arrived.  The predicted 12.9' tide arrived at about 14.5' (relative to MLLW in Seattle), roughly matching the previous record set in January, 1983 (during an El Nino).

I spent the morning on the west side of Whidbey Island. I missed the peak of the tide, but got some great shots of storm waves at West Beach (see subsequent post) and numerous other shots on the way down the island.  The winds were out of the southwest on the northern end of the island but from the northwest as I moved down the island.  Ultimately, it was if the wind was barreling eastward down the Strait of Juan de Fuca, then splitting when it reached the west shore of Whidbey near Point Partridge.  In an earlier post (Keystone: October 2012) I mentioned that while winds are often out of the south in the Admiralty Inlet area, the most significant waves in terms of sediment movement might still be out of the northwest.  I think today was a good example.

Bowman Bay, Deception Pass State Park
Gravel Beach:  March 2012

Failing bulkhead south of Libbey Road
Gravel Beach:  February 2009

Removing logs off road at Ebey's Landing
Gravel Beach:  February 2008

Another failing bulkhead, this one at Ledgewood Beach
(for another perspective, see cover image of 2010 USGS Report)
Gravel Beach:  April 2006

Lagoon at intersection of Shoreview and South Woodard in Freeland

Lagoon at Freeland Park (you may note that Freeland has several
historic back-barrier lagoons that periodically reassert themselves)
Gravel Beach:  October 2006

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