Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wild Windy Wednesday

While many of you in the lower 48 are experiencing below normal temps, the Matanuska Susitna Valley is in the throes of a nasty high/low wind battle. We are being battered by hurricane force winds and the temps are in the teens. What snow fell last weekend has all been blown away.

From the National Weather Service: ... Wind and damage reports from the Matanuska Valley...

Strong winds affected much of the Matanuska Valley late yesterday and
today. Damage reports received so far include a semi-trailer truck
blown off the Road near Wasilla Lake... several signs blown down or
torn off buildings in Wasilla... and scattered power outages
throughout the Valley. High winds have also been reported to have
damaged area home roofs and blown covers off airplanes at the Palmer

Below are the highest reported wind gusts from this event as of
4:30pm today. With the winds gradually subsiding throughout the
valley tonight... these numbers will likely stand as the highest
recorded winds from the event.

Location wind gust time
-------------------------- ---------- --------
between Wasilla and Palmer 87 mph 6:00am
Palmer Airport 81 mph 10:53am
Wasilla (public report) 78 mph 12:35am
Wasilla Airport 63 mph 4:56am

The trailer above is at our local Walmart. This is a known wind tunnel. When the Walmart was under construction several years ago, a contractor parked a flatbed of rigid board styrofoam insulation in this same spot. The insulation was strapped down but not tarped. As soon as one board broke it created a chain reaction and soon the woods behind the trailer were full of pieces of styrofoam. This is not the first time a trailer has been flipped in this exact same spot.

This tractor trailer was a double with a flatbed trailer behind the van. The flatbed was on it's tires and the company hauled it off quickly. The van and the trailer stayed there all day. Just before this accident there was a full size pickup truck camper upside down on the same side of the road.

Briar and I drove out to the Wasilla airport and found one light plane standing on it's nose. Pilots here are pretty smart though and many of them had parked a truck in front of their plane to disrupt the airflow.

Voosh and the Mare have stayed in their barn all day. Hailey doesn't have a real good wind block but she wears a heavy winter turnout blanket. Unfortunately when she turns her butt to the wind the blanket rucks up around her neck.

The sheepies have hunkered down in the pen. Their wool is at least 4" thick. Not much bothers them.

This wind was supposed to have stopped this afternoon. Now the weather guys are saying *maybe* Friday. I can deal with the cold. This wind though is the pits.

PS - OS: It was the competition, not one of your guys.


  1. Wow, CRAZY winds. Washoe Valley south of Reno gets those windspeeds frequently. Semis / trucks with camper shells tip over all the time. My neighborhood just has pleasant 30 mph zephyrs. :)

    I can't imagine the feel of 60+ mph winds in the teens. Awful.

  2. Wow, that is super crazy! I can't imagine it.

  3. Hey! I know that mountain! I have some beautiful photos of it that I took several years ago!

    Next, I'm glad it was the green guys. I learned enough about their drivers when one of my ex's and Freya did security there. Oh, and I acquired two cats (at different times) that came off their trailers from who knows where. Never had that problem at Team Blue.

    I always gritted my teeth driving from the Valley back to Anch or reverse. The wind on good days isn't a joy. I can't imagine a horrid day.

  4. Sounds funny but we have winds like that here sometimes i feel like I have more in common with you guys up there than anyone in the lower 48 cause of our odd weather - not on a daily bases but at least once or twice a year we'll get them up and over 75 MPH. I live in a unique area where the wind is kinda funneled right over our little town.

    I don't know what I did to deserve the gifts but you're an angle! Its a thin Christmas for us and now I actually have stuff to put in the Dogs' empty stockings... thank you so much.... they are thankful too!