Tsunami Advisory Expires in NorCal

Any tsunami damage wouldn't have come from massive waves, but strong unexpected currents.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Our weather is looking warm again to round out the weekend with many more 70s and 80s. A pattern change due in Wednesday will drop temperatures back into the 60s and introduce an increasing chance of rain during the day heading into Halloween and through Thursday. (Published Sunday, Oct 28, 2012)

    A magnitude-7.7 earthquake struck off the coast of western Canada caused the National Weather Service to issue a tsunami advisory for Northern California overnight.

    The advisory was in effect for Crescent City to Guala Point. The advisory stopped 80 miles north of San Francisco. The advisory expired Sunday morning with no reports of damage along the coast.

    No significant coastal flooding was ever expected, but small waves and unexpected tides and currents were possible, according to the experts. Read advisory here.

    The weather service said Crescent City Harbor was especially as risk beginning around 11 p.m. and lasting for several hours. The wave height at Arena Cove and Crescent City was 1.3 ft, San Francisco Bay 0.3 ft. and 0.4 ft near Monterey Harbor. 

    Meteorologist Rob Mayeda reminds even with a tsunami advisory where wave heights usually stay near or below 1 ft., there can be local tidal current changes and brief rises in narrow inlets and harbors where tsunami energy is 'funneled' leading to a localized rise in sea level above one foot even under an advisory.  Unusual wave activity could continue throughout Sunday, but all advisories were lift

    The main warning was for people to stay out of the water and off the beach, so the fact that the advisory happened in the middle of the night was a good thing.

    Hawaii was also under a Tsunami warning. There was a fear of a greater risk to people with evacuation orders underway late Saturday. Guests at the Fairmont Kea Lani on Maui were being moved to upper floors late Saturday. 

    Gerard Fryer, a geologist tracking the tsunami for the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, told AP the largest wave in the first 45 minutes of the tsunami was measured in Maui at more than 5 feet, about 2 feet higher than normal sea levels.

     "It's beginning to look like the evacuation may not have been necessary," Fryer said.

    The National Weather Service said there were reports of water quickly receding in bays, including Hilo Bay on the Big Island. 

    As for the earthquake, there were no immediate reports of damage.

    The U.S. Geological Survey in Colorado says the quake hit the Queen Charlotte Islands at 11:14 p.m. Sunday local time (0314 GMT) and was centered 96 miles south of Masset, British Columbia.

     The USGS said the 7.7-magnitude earthquake was followed by a 5.8-magnitude aftershock several minutes later.