Low, frequent rumble in the San Juan Islands?
January 9, 2015 2:38 PM   Subscribe

Mefites in the Pacific Northwest coastal area, Anacortes and San Juans in particular - have you been hearing a low, extended rumble every few minutes?

I've been coming up to Orcas regularly for my whole life and have never to my recollection heard such a loud rumble. It lasts for a minute or less, very very low frequency, like a rocket taking off in the distance, seems to be coming from the southeast. It's definitely not a jet or a nearby boat - we heard it from the Anacortes terminal last night and then again from our place on the southeast coast of Orcas today, several times. Anyone else hearing this and/or know what it is?
posted by BlackLeotardFront to Science & Nature (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The naval air station on Whidbey Island is conducting test flights. In the winter the relatively cold dry air and accompanying temperature inversion makes the sounds more noticeable. The "booming" sound is the talk of the town just to the west here in Victoria, at the tip of Vancouver Island (I am writing this with a line of sight towards Whidbey Island).

The US navy is actually planning to expand test flights, and is conducting an environmental impact review.
posted by Nevin at 2:44 PM on January 9, 2015 [8 favorites]

Response by poster: Good lord, it's loud even around Olga on Orcas. We thought it was an earthquake in Anacortes. That must be it, then. Thanks! I couldn't find anything searching for "san juans rumble" and various other, more imaginative queries.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 2:46 PM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

When we lived up at that end of the island, WOW WAS IT EVER FREAKING LOUD. I'm not surprised you hear it all over the San Juans. They do some stuff at the base, and then they do the touch & go thing at the OLF in Coupeville.

They do put notices in the local paper now for the test flights at the Outlying Field. It is subject to random change, so maybe they are flying there today in spite of this notice giving other days. I don't believe they do any notices for the flights near the base.

OLF flight operations scheduled Jan. 15-16
Jan 10, 2014 at 1:00PM updated Jan 8, 2015 at 12:12PM

"Field Carrier Landing Practice operations for aircraft stationed at NAS Whidbey Island are scheduled to occur at the Outlying Field (OLF) in Coupeville, Wash., on Jan. 15 and 16, 2015.

FCLP training is scheduled at OLF Coupeville in the afternoon on into the evening on both Thursday, Jan. 15 and Friday, Jan. 16.

Flight operations are subject to change due to weather, operational and/or training requirements.

Residents living in Coupeville and around the OLF should anticipate an increase in jet noise."

posted by AllieTessKipp at 3:48 PM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

« Older The absolute best health insurance money can buy...   |   Mediation music to use for studying Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.