Most of our storms come from the north-why do the larger waves crash on the south side of the 520 bridge?

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by Jeff Renner

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KING5.com

Posted on April 10, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Most of our storms come from the north-why do the larger waves crash on the south side of the 520 bridge?

Actually, few of our storms come from the north; most come from the west or southwest over the Pacific ocean. This motion is determined by winds in the upper atmosphere. However, winds at the surface are very different. Because lows 'steered' by those winds aloft have winds circulate around them in a counter-clockwise direction, as lows approach, surface winds typically move from the south. And that's why storms typically generate the strongest, roughest waves on the south side of the 520 bridge. This difference in wind direction, by the way, is due to the fact that friction (air moving over buildings, trees and hills) impacts wind direction near the surface, but that force gradually diminishes with increasing altitude above the ground.

 

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