I grew up in western Oregon. It seemed, at least in terms of natural threats, a bucolic place in which to spend my youth. For instance, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes there were about as common as the Northern Lights in Georgia. Hurricanes were nonexistent. Such storms are born over warm oceans. If you’ve ever dipped a toe into the Pacific along the Oregon coast, you know it’s water in which Polar Bear Plungers could train even in August.
There were the occasional big winter storms, of course. But they certainly didn’t bear the DNA common to the meteorological monsters that inhabit other parts of the nation. I did, incidentally, experience the Northwest’s “Big Blow” in 1962 that hurled winds over 100 mph into Portland. Scary, but hardly Cat-5 stuff.
We’d get decent snowstorms once in awhile, too. But true blizzard conditions were rare (see Northern Lights comment above.)
Earthquakes? I recall a decent little shake in the late ‘40s, but Northwesterners didn’t dwell on such things....
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H.W. “Buzz” Bernard is a best-selling, award-winning novelist. His novels include Blizzard (the most recent), Eyewall, Plague and Supercell. Buzz is a native Oregonian and attended the University of Washington in Seattle where he earned a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science; he also studied creative writing. He’s currently vice president of the Southeastern Writers Association. He and his wife Christina live in Roswell, Georgia.