Letters to the Editor

Article reports storms incorrectly

Your article in the Nov. 16 edition on the Nov. 11 storm is full of inaccuracies. I have scrupulously tracked Whidbey Island weather for years, keeping meticulous records in an Excel spreadsheet.

Inaccuracy 1: The article states gale-force winds are those of 39-54 mph.  Here is the real story: Moderate gale, 31-38 mph; fresh gale, 39-46 mph; strong gale, 47-54 mph; whole gale, 55-63 mph.

Inaccuracy 2: The article states the windstorm was the first of the season to reach gale force winds. Here is the real story:

By the correct definition of gale force winds (31-63 mph), it was the ninth gale of the season. Even requiring the winds to reach 39 mph, it was still the seventh gale.

Inaccuracy 3: The article states the 11/11 storm had the season’s highest winds. The real story: The 9/26 storm reached winds of 66 mph on Smith Island. Technically this is above a gale, since the category “violent storm” includes winds from 64-72 mph. (73 mph and above is a hurricane).

I hope this is helpful and will encourage your writers to research their articles more thoroughly.

Bill Viertel



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