OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Corvallis Science Pub revisits the Columbus Day storm of 1962

10/02/2012

CORVALLIS, Ore. – At the Oct. 8 Corvallis Science Pub, Kathie Dello will delve into Oregon’s perfect storm, the weather event that still stands as one of the state’s most damaging natural disasters. The deputy director of the Oregon Climate Service warns that it could happen again.

The presentation will begin at 6 p.m. at the Old World Deli, 341 S.W. Second St., in Corvallis. It is free and open to the public.

When the remnants of a Pacific typhoon approached the West Coast of North America in October 1962, it had already weakened. But when cold air flowed from the Gulf of Alaska and met warm moist air from the subtropics, rotation was rekindled around the low-pressure center.

Top wind speeds in the mid-Willamette Valley are a matter of some speculation. The anemometer at the Corvallis Airport broke when it recorded a gust of 127 miles per hour. It’s likely that gusts reached higher speeds in what was a nationally significant storm.

Dello provides weather and climate data for the state. She will describe the series of events leading to the storm, the consequences for the Oregon coast and Willamette Valley and what efforts are under way to anticipate future severe weather events and ensure that Oregonians are prepared.

Sponsors of Science Pub include Terra magazine at OSU, the Downtown Corvallis Association and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.