Tsunami advisory in effect for Whidbey, Strait of Juan de Fuca, Admiralty Inlet
March 11, 2011 · 7:48 AM
A tsunami advisory remains in effect for the entire Washington Coast as well as the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Admiralty Inlet area, Whidbey Island and the San Juans on Friday morning after an 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit Japan on Thursday night.
The National Weather Service office in Seattle said the leading edge of the wave front was expected to arrive on the Washington Coast around 7:02 a.m. this morning.
The initial wave is expected to hit Port Angeles at 7:48 a.m. at a height of 0.9 foot, the National Weather service said.
Wave height was expected to be 1 foot in Bellingham, 1.8 feet in Westport, 2.6 feet in Long Beach and 3.9 feet in Moclips on the Washington Coast.
Experts also said the initial wave may not be the largest, and coastal residents were being advised to stay out of the water and off the beach.
The tsunami that struck Japan immediately measured 23 feet, according to the Associated Press.
According to AccuWeather.com, tsunami wave activity reached U.S. soil at Midway Island, located near the International Date Line and northwest of Hawaii, measuring a height of 5.1 feet above normal sea level early Friday morning.
The Alaskan Aleutian Island of Shemya initially reported a tsunami wave of 3.5 feet, and that number later rose to 5.1 feet, according to AccuWeather. The arrival of the first tsunami wave in Hawaii occurred around 3:07 am.
Forecasters said the tsunami will also reach the West Coast of the continental U.S. and Canada at midday.
The tsunami is actually not a single wave, but rather a series of waves that can be of varying height.
"The tsunami is basically a wall of water, more similar to a flash flood along a stream," said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.