Washington Landslide Death Toll Grows to 14

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

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


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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Quoting 829. Thecanadian:
yup I lasten fifteen minutes and now my face is stinging
People pay a lot of money for a good facial peel. You should go back out and take full advantage! lol
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834. Skyepony (Mod)
The Bomb is gusting over 100kts now..

Station 44027 (LLNR 4) - Jonesport, ME - 20 NM SE of Jonesport, ME

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3:00 PM EDT: ECMWF 12z products delayed -- catastrophic failure at their end
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Quoting 815. Thecanadian:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-idPN0TP0o

Wow that's crazy! Great video :)
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Quoting 828. hydrus:
I wonder if Dragod66 still has power..
he is up on the cape Breton highlands maybe not
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Quoting 824. hydrus:
That was brutal...
yup I lasten fifteen minutes and now my face is stinging
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I wonder if Dragod66 still has power..
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Quoting 817. Chapelhill:
Nice clip! Do you think you power is going to hold up to it?
im not sure it flickered and the poles were swaying so we will see !
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Seen at least two reports of wind gusts over 100 mph with White Juan.
Incredible nor'easter.
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Quoting 818. StormWx:


Mocking? Scotty lets not start being rude again. I simply showed you the facts and what your local NWS states is the start of the Wet Season. If you don't like their numbers feel free to become a meteorologists and come up with the date you believe is the start. Sorry the truth hurts, but once again you try to hype the Wet season to start earlier than it actually does.


can you just do me a favor and leave the guy alone will ya please

I won't ask again

he is just as welcomed here as you

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Quoting 815. Thecanadian:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-idPN0TP0o
That was brutal...
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823. Skyepony (Mod)
Station 44150 - La Have Bank ~100 miles S of Novia Scotia..

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Quoting 820. RyanSperrey:
If this storm had taken the western path into the Maine coast as was hinted last week...
imagine if it had to track up over the spine of the apps
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821. VR46L
Quoting 813. hydrus:


Looks like there maybe some interesting storms tomorrow and Friday ...

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If this storm had taken the western path into the Maine coast as was hinted last week...
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Quoting 812. Thecanadian:
Link I took this a couple minutes ago insane here in saint john new brunswick
Nice clip! Do you think you power is going to hold up to it?
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Quoting 812. Thecanadian:
Link I took this a couple minutes ago insane here in saint john new brunswick



its a howler matt
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-idPN0TP0o
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should bottom out at 949 iam thinking
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Link I took this a couple minutes ago insane here in saint john new brunswick
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URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAUNTON MA
1003 AM EDT WED MAR 26 2014

...HURRICANE FORCE WIND GUST ALREADY MEASURED AT THE NANTUCKET
ASOS...

MAZ019-021>024-262215-
/O.CON.KBOX.HW.W.0002.000000T0000Z-140327T0000Z/
EASTERN PLYMOUTH MA-SOUTHERN PLYMOUTH MA-BARNSTABLE MA-DUKES MA-
NANTUCKET MA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...PLYMOUTH...MATTAPOISETT...CHATHAM...
FALMOUTH...PROVINCETOWN...VINEYARD HAVEN...NANTUCKET
1003 AM EDT WED MAR 26 2014

...HIGH WIND WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM EDT THIS
EVENING...

* LOCATION...EASTERN AND SOUTHERN PLYMOUTH COUNTY MASSACHUSETTS
AS WELL AS CAPE COD AND THE ISLANDS.

* WINDS...NORTHWEST 35 TO 45 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 75 MPH.

* TIMING...STRONGEST WINDS THROUGH MIDDAY. HOWEVER...WINDS WILL
REMAIN VERY STRONG INTO THE EVENING.

* IMPACTS...WINDS HAVE ALREADY GUSTED TO HURRICANE FORCE ON
NANTUCKET. VERY STRONG WINDS WILL CONTINUE TO RESULT IN SOME
DOWNED TREES AND POWER OUTAGES. SOME PROPERTY DAMAGE IS ALSO
POSSIBLE. THE WORST CONDITIONS WILL BE ACROSS THE OUTER-CAPE
AND NANTUCKET.

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Environment Canada
Location: 42.234N 62.018W
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2014 18:00:00 UTC

Significant Wave Height: 29.2 ft
Dominant Wave Period: 14 sec
Atmospheric Pressure: 28.74 in and falling rapidly
Air Temperature: 52.7 F
Water Temperature: 47.1 F
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well northeast for saturday...................
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Quoting 802. HurricaneCamille:
The center is about to move directly over a buoy SE of N.S ...shame that the buoy appears to be down.


TWN is saying a buoy near the mouth of the Bay of Fundy recorded gusts of 97 knots. O_o
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Active Thursday in the midsection
Mar .26, 2014 1:43 pm ET

Midwest |
- A band of snow and freezing rain will set up Thursday from northern Nebraska to northern Minnesota and the U.P. of Michigan.

- Rain showers Thursday from northern Kansas to Ohio.

- A mixture of rain and snow over much of Michigan Thursday.

- Thunderstorms (some severe) by PM Thursday from eastern Kansas and Oklahoma across much of Missouri.

- Isolated tornadoes are possible.

- Windy conditions across the Plains.

- Highs mainly in the 30s up by the Canadian border.

- Highs in the 40s from South Dakota to the western Great Lakes.

- Highs in the 50s across the Ohio Valley

- Warmer temperatures from Kansas and Missouri to the southern Plains

watch out for severe weather on thursday
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Quoting 793. wxmod:
This is a satellite photo of the Oso, Washington landslide area showing intensive logging all over the area. The native forest is darkest green. The lightest is bare ground. The site of the landslide is on the bottom center of the image, just across from Steelhead Drive,Oso,WA

So you are showing that clear cutting did not have anything to do with the slide, as I see dark green very near that location. In fact, previous slides (back to 1949) in that location were heavly forested as well.
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The center is about to move directly over a buoy SE of N.S ...shame that the buoy appears to be down.
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Quoting 798. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
looks like its at 955mbs


It's around the mid - low 950's and rapidly falling. Insane
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Quoting 797. PedleyCA:
New Definition for the word TWIT. I was watching the news and this artist is so mad and people who text and drive he is taking there pictures and blowing up some of them and putting them on billboards in the S.F. Bay area.
TWIT= Texting While In Traffic...
a very dangerous habit,should be a huge fine if caught.never text while your in motion, yet i see it here all the time.
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looks like its at 955mbs
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New Definition for the word TWIT. I was watching the news and this artist is so mad and people who text and drive he is taking there pictures and blowing up some of them and putting them on billboards in the S.F. Bay area.
TWIT= Texting While In Traffic...
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Quoting 792. VR46L:


I think I would rather that storm ,than a storm like Hurricane Camille .


A hurricane as intense as hurricane Camille would never make its way this far North though so i'm not exactly worried about it. Camille was such a compact little monster.

In my experience though a powerful Nor'Easter can be worse than a category 1 hurricane.
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Quoting 787. LargoFl:
keeper one snow model had some places getting 2 feet of snow in way eastern canada..big storm she is huh
its a wee bit intense yes
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XX/XX/XL
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793. wxmod
This is a satellite photo of the Oso, Washington landslide area showing intensive logging all over the area. The native forest is darkest green. The lightest is bare ground. The site of the landslide is on the bottom center of the image, just across from Steelhead Drive,Oso,WA

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792. VR46L
Quoting 784. HurricaneCamille:


These things are worse than any hurricanes i've been through. Just absolutely brutal. The cold...ice pellets...and wind. With tropical systems the rain is warm and much more pleasant on the skin.


I think I would rather that storm ,than a storm like Hurricane Camille .
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Buoy South East of Nova Scotia has a pressure of 966 and falling with winds coming from the SE at 23 Knots
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Washington Mudslide Update: At Least 24 Killed as Authorities Recover More Bodies

March 26, 2014

A mudslide in rural Washington has killed at least 24 people as first responders continue search the wreckage for the missing.
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Quoting 786. HurricaneCamille:



Wow. 120 mile per hour wind gusts?
well damage and power outages are certain with this storm.
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788. VR46L
Quoting 771. Chapelhill:


They are claiming that the winds are 180 km/h which is a Category 3 Hurricane right now.
"Buoy near the mouth of the Bay of Fundy repoting peak gust to 97 knots, that's 180 km/h" "That strength is the equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane," says Weather Network meteorologist.

Not saying it's not intense, but keep in mind that that is a gust of wind.


Yes you are right , seems a bit hyperbolic to me ... A gust is very different to sustained !
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Quoting 783. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
we have yet to break the 20 degree mark on f scale for the high holding at 19.6 f chill 14f was a little breezy earlier this morning with chills near 0f but since has calm down
keeper one snow model had some places getting 2 feet of snow in way eastern canada..big storm she is huh
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Quoting 782. Luisport:
The Weather Channel ‏@weatherchannel · 2 min
New peak gust of 119 mph reported at Buoy 44027, 23 mi SE of Jonesport, Maine at 1:49pm EDT. #blizzard




Wow. 120 mile per hour wind gusts?
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777. hydrus 6:30 PM GMT
on March 26,2014
Isobars are so tightly packed, they are a solid black patch.



That's a sure sign of DOOM
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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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