[Water Spout?]

Mar. 3 1999 12:26:22 PM

Water Spouts over Puget Sound?

The March 3, 1999 storm in Western Washington caused all sorts of problems: 250,000 people without electricity (I had no power for 15 hours..), the Evergreen Point floating bridge damaged and closed to traffic for 72 hours, and the Fauntleroy ferry dock (in the last of these pictures) damaged and closed for 24 hours after it was hit by the ferry Quinault during an abortive landing early Wednesday morning. One person died in a car crushed by a fallen tree. Five counties were declared disaster areas...

I stayed home because of the ferry dock being closed, and went out on the deck a little after noon as the rain stopped for a few minutes and saw what I at first thought was a hail squall out on Puget Sound.

When I realized that what I was seeing was at the water's surface, not falling from the sky, I suddenly realized I was seeing some incredible wind system swirling right at and above the water, and ran inside for my Sony Mavica digital camera.

What I watched appeared almost to become a tornado, and I kept shooting pictures as fast as the Mavica would save to floppy, about one shot every eight seconds, as this thing swirled across the Sound right straight at the Fauntleroy ferry dock!

This formed much closer to Vashon than shown in the first photo; I would estimate that it easily covered about 3 miles in barely 3 minutes; that suggests it was travelling about -- what? -- 60 miles an hour across the open water!

Each of the separate plumes had a fantastic counter-clockwise rotational motion that of course you can't see in these stills! I considered switching to movie-mode (the Mavica will take mpeg movies up to 60 seconds in duration) but I wanted to keep shooting...

March 3, 1999 12:27:51 PM MVC-FD81

Digital Mavica images

8 mavica images 1084 Kbytes free

[Water Spout?] Mar. 3 1999 12:26:00 PM

[Water Spout?] Mar. 3 1999 12:26:08 PM

[Water Spout?] Mar. 3 1999 12:26:16 PM

[Water Spout?] Mar. 3 1999 12:26:22 PM

[Water Spout?] Mar. 3 1999 12:26:28 PM

[Water Spout?] Mar. 3 1999 12:26:34 PM

[Water Spout?] Mar. 3 1999 12:27:28 PM

[Water Spout?] Mar. 3 1999 12:27:50 PM

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