WENATCHEE — Winds blasted through Wenatchee Valley on Monday evening, knocking out power to a large portion of the city and rekindling still-vivid memories of a tree-toppling and roof-lifting big blow exactly six years earlier to the day.
The winds were caused by a mountain wave, similar to the one in January 7, 2007 that caused widespread damage across the region.
This time around, no injuries or major damage were reported, officials say.
The strong winds were localized around Wenatchee, said Greg Koch, a forecaster for the National Weather Service.
Gusts of 80 mph were recorded in the Wenatchee Heights area. The highest gust recorded at Pangborn Memorial Airport in East Wenatchee was 37 mph.
High winds knocked out power to about 700 Chelan County PUD customers in Wenatchee’s Castlerock Avenue area from about 6:40 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. Scattered outages were reported on Wenatchee Heights and in the Jumpoff Ridge area in the Stemilt Basin, where communications towers were without power this morning, PUD spokeswoman Kimberlee Craig said.
Winds also cut power to 450 PUD customers in the Cedar Brae Road and Kahler Glen area near Lake Wenatchee, an area that has been plagued by outages since a mid-December ice storm. Repair crews withdrew overnight amid wind danger in the heavily wooded area, but were back at work this morning, Craig said.
Forecasters expected strong winds higher in the mountains, but the Wenatchee storm took them by surprise.
Koch described the wind event, saying “winds coming across the Cascade Mountains hit just the right atmospheric profile to be deflected down into lower elevations.”
The wind event warmed the Wenatchee Valley Monday, and will largely shield it from a snow storm that will hit the region today.
The storm is expected to drop 1 to 2 feet of snow in Cascades by early Wednesday morning, Koch said. Leavenworth, Lake Wenatchee and Plain could get 7 inches of new snow, and the Methow Valley could get 6-12 inches.
Wenatchee may get a half inch, but probably not much more, Koch said.
Christine Pratt: 665-1173