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How to cope with a Northwest superstorm

Power substation maintenance
Seattle City Light employees work at a substation. (Credit: Seattle.gov)

There’s a storm coming. A big one. So big that Seattle weather guru Cliff Mass says it could match the “most powerful storm in NW history” – the Big Blow, which hit exactly 54 years ago today.

“My head is spinning with the action that may be occurring around here,” the University of Washington professor of atmospheric sciences wrote in a blog post on Oct. 11.

This morning, he followed up by calling attention to an “amazing plume of moisture” spreading across the Pacific and leading to Typhoon Songda. “Never saw anything like this,” he said.

The action is expected to start on Oct. 13, when a strong Pacific cyclone approaches the coast. That could whip up winds that gust up to 57 mph along the coast and over portions of Seattle.

“Expect a lot of power failures,” Mass said. “Be prepared.”

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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