Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Biking The Gateway Park FWMBA Trail Where The Trinity River Causes Me To Think About The Columbus Day Storm

Those are my handlebars you see in the picture, with the sun glistening bright off the longhorn handlebar extensions, on Gateway Park's FWMBA (Fort Worth Mountain Bike Association) mountain bike trail, today, in the noon time frame.

What you can not quite tell, via the picture, is that my handlebars are at the edge of a steep drop off that ends in that slimy green body of water known as the Trinity River.

Today, after I took the picture I looked down at the green slimy river and saw 3 big turtles luxuriating in the nutrient filled slimy green water.

Weeks ago, if I remember right, I mentioned that the river in my old home zone, that being the Skagit River, had shrunk to an extremely small version of its usually big self, due to a long drought.

Well, that drought has ended, with the Skagit River and the other rivers in Western Washington in flood mode. This morning I read 3 to 5 inches of rain had fallen in the mountains, with 1 to 2 inches falling in the lowlands. Hence the flooding.

I do not believe, in all my years of exile in Texas, I have ever read that a flood was coming due to a lot of rain falling in the mountains. I have read of a flood coming due to an incoming hurricane. I don't remember whilst living in Washington ever reading that a flood was coming due to a hurricane.

But, there have been floods in Washington, caused by a hurricane, we just don't call it a hurricane in the Pacific Northwest, I guess. Typhoon is the word that means hurricane. Or is a typhoon different than a hurricane or cyclone? I have no idea. I suspect I could Google this and end my bum puzzlement.

The hurricane, I mean typhoon, I am talking about was named Freda, but, by the time it hit Washington and Oregon it was known as the Columbus Day Storm.

This was one of the biggest storms in recorded history, sort of a Sandy of its day.

Below is the first paragraph of the Wikipedia article about the Columbus Day Storm....

The Columbus Day Storm of 1962 (also known as the Big Blow, and originally as Typhoon Freda) was an extratropical cyclone that struck the Pacific Northwest coast of the United States on October 12, 1962. The storm ranks among the most intense to strike the region since at least 1948, likely since the January 9, 1880 "Great Gale" and snowstorm. The storm is a contender for the title of most powerful extratropical cyclone recorded in the U.S. in the 20th century; with respect to wind velocity, it is unmatched by the March 1993 "Storm of the Century" and the "1991 Halloween Nor’easter" ("The Perfect Storm"). The system brought strong winds to the Pacific Northwest and southwest Canada, and was linked to 46 fatalities in the northwest and Northern California resulting from heavy rains and mudslides.

If I remember right the precise velocity of the maximum wind speed of the Columbus Day Storm is not known because over and over again the Big Blow blew out anemometers (wind speed measuring devices) at various measuring stations in its path.

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