Putting up walls in a typhoon

Putting up walls in a typhoon

What started out in the Pacific as a major typhoon (apparently the biggest weather bomb on record), has finally hit the coast and it’s been dramatic. Big waves are washing up higher than I’ve seen before. There is only about 15 feet of beach front on our property that is walkable and the logs are piling up as they get washed down the shoreline before being pinned against a super long log that has been permanently anchored at the bottom of our ramp.

Mitch and I walked down the ramp and spent half an hour watching the waves pound the shore. The wind was very strong at the beach, but up at the top of the bluff where the builders were putting up the framing and walls on the house there was almost no wind. It was actually quite remarkable – take a look at the video below and just watch how the trees are rocking back and forth.

Back at the top of the bluff, we did a little experiment. Mitch walked towards the edge of the bluff and when he was about 20 feet from the edge, he could suddenly feel the wind. Further away from the bluff, where the builders were putting up the walls, it was strangely calm. You could drop a piece of paper and it would just fall to the ground and not blow away. Furthermore, although it didn’t feel windy, you could hear the wind blowing up a storm and every tree around the property was rocking and the Salish Sea was a mess of whitecaps.

My guess is that the wind is slamming into the coast hard and then being forced up the face of the bluff. Since the bluff is about 50 feet from beach to edge, this gets the air moving straight up. Once it passes the top of the bluff, it starts to curl over like a wave breaking, leaving this “pocket” underneath of relatively undisturbed air. I don’t know if this bodes well for how much wind we’ll get when the house is built but at least it’s making it easier for the builders to get the house constructed.

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