Washington Landslide Death Toll Grows to 14

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:03 PM GMT on March 25, 2014

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The death toll has grown to fourteen from Saturday's massive landslide near Oso, Washington, located about 50 miles north-northeast of Seattle. At least seven were injured, and 176 are listed as missing, though this total is likely to decrease dramatically as missing people check in. The landslide was triggered by unusually heavy rains over the past 30 days in the region. A personal weather station located about ten miles west of the slide recorded 13.81" of precipitation in the 30 days prior to the slide, including 5.17" in the ten days just before. Precipitation imagery from NOAA's Advanced Hydrological Precipitation Service (Figure 2) shows that the 30-day precipitation amounts in the region were more than 8" above average--about double the usual amount of rain for this time of year.


Figure 1. The Oso, Washington area before the March 22, 2014 landslide as seen on Google Earth (top) and after the landslide, as photographed by the Washington Department of Transportation (bottom.) The landslide blocked the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River and Highway 530.


Figure 2. Precipitation for the 30-day period ending March 24, 2014, was 150% - 200% of average in Oso, Washington--about 8" above average. Image credit: NOAA/AHPS.


Figure 3. Predicted precipitation for the 7-day period ending on Tuesday, April 1, 2014. The landslide area to the northwest of Seattle is expected to receive 2 - 4" of precipitation, which will slow recovery efforts from the landslide. However, the rains over Northern California will be welcome, helping to fill drought-depleted reservoirs as that state's dry season approaches. Image credit: NOAA/HPC.

A re-activation of an old landslide
According to Dave Petley, Professor of Hazard and Risk in the Department of Geography at Durham University in the United Kingdom, it is clear that major landslides have occurred here on many previous occasions, so much so that the landslide is known as either the Hazel landslide or the Steelhead landslide. In his excellent Landslide Blog, my go-to source of information for any landslide, he writes: "The landslide has been widely reported as a mudslide. In terms of the lower portion, which did the damage, this is correct, although in places it might have been more of a mudflow than a mudslide. However, the upper portion is a rotational landslide–the rotated block with the fallen trees is very clear. A working hypothesis would be that this block failed catastrophically, transferring load onto the block below, which in turn generated very high pore water pressures, causing fluidisation and a very rapid mudflow that struck the settlements across the river." He writes that the last event on a similar scale he knows of was the 25th December 2003 debris flow in San Bernadino County, California, which killed sixteen people. Weather historian Christopher C. Burt has a post about the worst landslides in U.S. history, which puts this week's landslide in context.

The Yakima Herald has a very nice article that details the chronology of events on the Oso landslide. This includes:
• 1949: A large landslide (1000 feet long and 2600 feet wide) affected the river bank
• 1951: Another large failure of the slope; the river was partially blocked
• 1967: Seattle Times published an article that referred to this site as “Slide Hill”
• 1997 report, by Daniel Miller, for the Washington Department of Ecology and the Tualialip Tribes
• 1999: US Army Corps of Engineers report by Daniel and Lynne Rodgers Miller that warned of “the potential for a large catastrophic failure”
• 25 January 2006: large movement of the Steelhead landslide blocked the river



When Will Spring Come For REAL? Join Me at 5:30pm EDT Tuesday for a Google Hangout Discussion
Spring has officially begun for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, but it's still more like winter in the Midwest and Northeast U.S. In celebration of the new season, I'll host a 15-minute Google Hangout on Tuesday, March 25th at 5:30pm EDT to review where on Earth the most severe winter weather is occurring, and forecast when those of us still experiencing winter can expect to see Spring--for real! I'll focus on the forecast for four cities: Detroit, Boston, Seattle, and Moscow, and discuss some of the remarkable weather events those cities have seen this month. You can watch the hangout by visiting our Weather Underground Spring Forecast page.



Jeff Masters

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Searchers in helicopters scanned a huge debris field Sunday trying to find 18 people still unaccounted for following a deadly landslide that ripped through rural northwestern Washington state. Some video mute from source. (March 23)

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Just a side note folks.

For the last week of March in 1997, Nino 3.4 was at 0.0C
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well I guess by now most here already know one Powerful coastal storm is going to go up the atlantic coast..this one just may be damaging to those folks up there..already they are warning of hurricane force winds offshore..if it finds a weakness in the coming days and moves closer to shore..well you know whats going to happen to those coastal area's..all we can do is tell folks..stay alert and Heed your Local warnings..stay safe and I hope..it does indeed stay off shore.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 45073
Did they REALLY find it , and its location ? Or is this another EPIC fail by the Malaysian government , for the families , I hope not !
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very big storm!
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Well it was Spring the other day.

Picked up 3" of snow in the foothills of NC.

Down-sloping winds should limit the snow later today to the mountains only.

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Blizzard Watch

------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAUNTON MA
944 AM EDT TUE MAR 25 2014

...POWERFUL OCEAN STORM LIKELY TO AFFECT CAPE COD AND THE ISLANDS
WITH HEAVY SNOW AND STRONG TO DAMAGING WINDS VERY LATE TONIGHT
AND WEDNESDAY MORNING...

MAZ022>024-252145-
/O.CON.KBOX.BZ.A.0004.140326T0400Z-140326T1800Z/
BARNSTABLE MA-DUKES MA-NANTUCKET MA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...CHATHAM...FALMOUTH...PROVINCETOWN...
VINEYARD HAVEN...NANTUCKET
944 AM EDT TUE MAR 25 2014

...BLIZZARD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON...

* LOCATIONS...CAPE COD...NANTUCKET AND MARTHA/S VINEYARD.

* HAZARD TYPES...HEAVY SNOW...STRONG DAMAGING WINDS AND BLIZZARD
CONDITIONS.

* ACCUMULATIONS...SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 6 TO 10 INCHES POSSIBLE.

* TIMING...VERY LATE TONIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY.

* IMPACTS...NEAR ZERO VISIBILITY IN HEAVY SNOW AND STRONG WINDS
ARE POSSIBLE. BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW MAY MAKE TRAVEL ALMOST
IMPOSSIBLE...ESPECIALLY FOR THE WEDNESDAY MORNING RUSH HOUR.
IN ADDITION...STRONG WINDS MAY RESULT IN DOWNED TREES AND
POWER OUTAGES.

* WINDS...NORTH 30 TO 40 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 60 MPH.

* TEMPERATURES...AROUND 30.

* VISIBILITIES...ONE QUARTER MILE OR LESS AT TIMES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A BLIZZARD WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR CONSIDERABLE
FALLING AND/OR BLOWING SNOW WITH SUSTAINED WINDS OR FREQUENT
GUSTS OVER 35 MPH AND VISIBILITIES BELOW 1/4 MILE FOR AT LEAST
3 HOURS. WHITEOUT CONDITIONS WILL BE POSSIBLE...MAKING TRAVEL
VERY DANGEROUS. BE PREPARED TO ALTER ANY TRAVEL PLANS.

&&


Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 45073
geez,heed your local warnings folks...........
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EAST COAST ALERT: Blizzard Conditions Possible
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Quoting 10. StormTrackerScott:


All the Nino regions are nearing El-nino status except Nino 1 & 2. Infact Nino 4 is at an impressive .835 right now. We may have el-nino by June at this rate although not declared.



Very impressive warming occurring right across the equatorial pacific.




3.4 at 0.3C if you round it.




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folks prepare for this storm,just look at the size of this.....
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 45073
But I thought it would take few months for El Nino's effects to be observed after getting it in Pacific? Wouldn't this mean that it'll start affecting tropical cyclones in the 2nd half of the season?

Btw, I'm not wishcasting for hurricanes. Season might still be dead without El Nino.
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Quoting 19. ricderr:
I'm going to go out on a limb and say its not going to be the strongest El-Nino on record. Now lets see who will be right :o)



from the model support...that's a darn sturdy limb you're on storm


At least he walked away from the main part of the tree.
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Quoting 11. StormTrackerScott:
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say we may have the strongest El-Nino on record later this year. As a result the Atlantic hurricane season would be severely impacted.

E-Pac though is in for a monster season.


I dunno Scott, even 1997 was a more impressive hurricane season that last year.
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Quoting 19. ricderr:
I'm going to go out on a limb and say its not going to be the strongest El-Nino on record. Now lets see who will be right :o)



from the model support...that's a darn sturdy limb you're on storm


Many Scientist agree Ric. This isn't just some quote from me without basis as it has lots of support from the scientific community even Doc had a post about this possibility a month ago.

NEW DELHI: Weather scientists from Australia to the US are seeing ominous signs of a 'monster El Nino' that heightens the risk of a drought in South Asia this year

Once this surfaces which it looks like it is starting to do then watchout as there will be no stopping the amount of warming we are about to experience across the Equatorial Pacific. The thing that has me worried is it has been roughly 4 to 5 years since our last El-Nino and there is lots of available "heat build up" across the Western Pacific to spread east.


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I'm going to go out on a limb and say its not going to be the strongest El-Nino on record. Now lets see who will be right :o)



from the model support...that's a darn sturdy limb you're on storm
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Seasons (2014-2014)
Model MAM AMJ MJJ JJA JAS ASO SON OND NDJ
Dynamical models
NCEP CFS version 2 0.1 0.5 0.7 0.8 0.8 0.9 1.1 1.2
NASA GMAO model 0.1 0.3 0.6 0.8 1 1.1 1.2
Japan Met. Agency model 0 0.2 0.4 0.7 0.9
Scripps Inst. HCM 0.2 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.8 1 1.1 1.2 1.2
Lamont-Doherty model -0.2 0 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.2 0.4 0.5 0.4
POAMA (Austr) model -0.2 0.1 0.3 0.5 0.7 0.9 1
ECMWF model 0.2 0.5 0.8 1.1 1.3
UKMO model 0.3 0.5 0.7
KMA (Korea) SNU model 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.7 0.7
COLA CCSM3 model -0.6 -0.3 0 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3
MÉTÉO FRANCE model -0.1 0.2 0.4 0.8 1
Japan Frontier Coupled model 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2
CSIR-IRI 3-model MME -0.4 -0.2 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.1
GFDL CM2.1 Coupled Climate model 0.2 0.6 1 1.3 1.3 1 0.8 0.6 0.6
Canadian Coupled Fcst Sys -0.3 -0.1 0.2 0.5 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.7
Average, dynamical models -0.1 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.7 0.7 0.8 0.7
Statistical models
NCEP/CPC Markov model -0.4 -0.3 -0.2 -0.1 0 0.1 0.3 0.4 0.6
NOAA/CDC Linear Inverse -0.1 -0.1 0 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.2
NCEP/CPC Constructed Analog -0.3 -0.1 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.4 0.4
NCEP/CPC Can Cor Anal -0.1 0.1 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.7 0.8 0.7
Landsea/Knaff CLIPER -0.3 -0.2 0 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Univ. BC Neural Network -0.2 0 0.1 0.3 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.7
FSU Regression 0.1 0.6 0.9 1.1 1.1 1.2 1.5 1.8 2
TCD – UCLA -0.1 0.1 0.3 0.4 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6
Average, statistical models -0.2 0 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7
Average, all models
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Thanks Doc..What a horrible disaster..
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here come the big winter storm
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Quoting 11. StormTrackerScott:
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say we may have the strongest El-Nino on record later this year. As a result the Atlantic hurricane season would be severely impacted.

E-Pac though is in for a monster season.
I hope you are right!!
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I'm gonna go out on a limb and say we may have the strongest El-Nino on record later this year. As a result the Atlantic hurricane season would be severely impacted.

E-Pac though is in for a monster season.



wow scott...that's so unusual for you :-)


models don't support it....but go for it
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winter storm is coming together now.
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I'm gonna go out on a limb and say we may have the strongest El-Nino on record later this year. As a result the Atlantic hurricane season would be severely impacted.

E-Pac though is in for a monster season.
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Quoting 7. ricderr:
West spreading El Nino rumours: India Meteorological Department
Madhvi Sally, ET Bureau Mar 24, 2014, 10.30AM IST


NEW DELHI: Weather scientists from Australia to the US are seeing ominous signs of a 'monster El Nino' that heightens the risk of a drought in South Asia this year, but India's weather office is snarling at these forecasters and accusing them of conspiring to rattle the country's commodities and stock markets.


All the Nino regions are nearing El-nino status except Nino 1 & 2. Infact Nino 4 is at an impressive .835 right now. We may have el-nino by June at this rate although not declared.



Very impressive warming occurring right across the equatorial pacific.


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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 186 Comments: 57691
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West spreading El Nino rumours: India Meteorological Department
Madhvi Sally, ET Bureau Mar 24, 2014, 10.30AM IST


NEW DELHI: Weather scientists from Australia to the US are seeing ominous signs of a 'monster El Nino' that heightens the risk of a drought in South Asia this year, but India's weather office is snarling at these forecasters and accusing them of conspiring to rattle the country's commodities and stock markets.
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thanks doc

I will check it out
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 186 Comments: 57691
MALAYSIA AIRLINES FLIGHT MISSING, MARCH 2014
5h
Search for debris of crashed Malaysia Airlines jet suspended for another 24 hours due to poor weather - @NBCNews
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Thanks Doc !

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SNOHOMISH COUNTY, WASH., MUDSLIDE
12h
Snohomish County official: We have 176 names reported as missing, notes it's 'individual names reported, not deceased, not missing' - @NBCNews live video
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Thank you very much Doc!
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Thanks Doc!
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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