Howling atmospheric river winds singing the Golden Gate Bridge – CBS San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The howling gale forces the winds, whipped by a mighty atmospheric river, whistling through the gates of the Golden Gate Bridge, creating an eerie soundtrack for the storm as it ripped through the region of the San Francisco Bay.
The hum can be heard for miles and has been a source of annoyance for San Francisco residents since a handrail renovation, designed to make the span more aerodynamic on gusty days, was put in place year round. last.
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The slopes are much narrower than the old handrails and vibrate in strong winds.
“I couldn’t really describe the sound,” said Brianne Howell of San Francisco when she first heard the sound last year. “I think I described it as wind chimes at first and then like when you blow a beer bottle. But then, like several bottles of beer, because they are different tones.
Is it a buzz? A ghostly moan? A Brian Eno soundtrack for the most beautiful bridge in the world? The noise is not easy to describe. Howell had been chasing the source since April.
“What is that sound,” she recalls wondering as she walked through the Presidio. “I say to myself: am I the only one to hear this? “
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Paolo Cosulich-Schwartz of the Golden Gate Bridge District explained that the new railing makes the bridge more resistant to very strong winds.
“The slats of the new handrail are much thinner than the old handrail, which means that air can flow more freely across the bridge,” said Paolo Cosulich-Schwartz.
The Golden Gate Bridge District says that was to be expected. During the design phase, the district carried out wind tunnel tests on a mock-up of the bridge under high winds.
Mother Nature gave the bridge its own wind test on Sunday with winds close to hurricane force. The National Weather Service has issued a gale warning for the waters off the bridge.
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“The peak gusts were around 70 mph on the higher peaks with gusts of 40 to 50 mph filtering into the lower areas,” the weather service said. “Expect the winds to linger in the main rain band, but reduce them before the rain starts to recede. “