Reconstructing the Great Coastal Gale of 2007

THE NORTHWEST’S current drought makes it difficult to recall times when storms were many and snow was plentiful. But 2007-2008 was just that. A series of storms in early December 2007 blanketed low elevation ski resorts with deep powder and pummeled the coastline with hurricane-strength winds and surging seas resulting in flooding that closed highways…

Past Observations May Greatly Underestimate Future Damage

It is no secret that we get big storms and big waves in the Pacific Northwest. In fact, some are so big that “storm watching” is even considered an important recreational activity by those who keep track of coastal tourism. But for property owners, these storms are serious business. For example, in the winter of…

Higher Waves Could Mean More Flooding and Erosion

Global and regional sea levels have been increasing because of melting land ice and because the oceans expand as they absorb heat. But it’s not just the average sea level that matters. Damage also is caused by a few hours of the highest waves in a decade. A study by Muyin Wang and colleagues using…