The rain is here, but nothing like Columbus Day 1962

Oct 12, 2012

Expect light, misty rain for much of today, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass, professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington. And a much stronger front is approaching on Saturday night -- bringing heavy showers on Sunday.

And, coincidentally, our long dry streak is coming to an end on the 50th anniversary of one of the biggest storms to ever hit the United States -- and certainly the biggest in Washington history. As Mass writes on his blog on the Columbus Day Storm:

It was the most powerful and destructive storm to strike the Northwest since the arrival of European settlers.

AND it was probably the most powerful non-tropical cyclone to strike the lower-48 states during the past century.

Before the storm was over 46 people had died, 317 were hospitalized, and 15 billion board feet of timber, enough to build 300,000 homes, had fallen.  Millions had lost power, with the twin high-tension power lines to Portland toppled like some children's Tinker Toys.

Mass has lectured extensively about this storm, the damage it did and how it's been under-recognized around the country for its significance, partially because it wasn't a hurricane with a name.

Click the "listen" button above for more details, or check out Mass' blog.