King 5 News
Tue, 22 Nov 2011 10:05 CST
A high wind warning is in effect on the coast until noon Tuesday, along with flood watches through Wednesday night for rivers that easily flood in Western Washington, and a winter storm warning for the north Cascades until 6 p.m. Tuesday for up to a foot of new snow.
"We've had a lot of rain and a lot of wind," said KING 5 Meteorologist Rich Marriott. "The good news is the winds will begin to die down a little bit."
Moderate to heavy rain was blanketing Western Washington Monday morning. Between 1-2 inches of rain fell in the lowlands overnight, and Marriott predicts about 1-3 inches more for Tuesday. The rain will stick around through Wednesday morning, possibly causing some urban flooding due to clogged drains. Read Rich's complete forecast.
The Olympic Peninsula could see as much of 10 inches of rain, which could lead to some river flooding. A Flood Warning is in effect for Mason County on the Skokomish river at Potlatch.
Wind gusts up to 40-50 mph (65-80 kph) knocked down power lines overnight, causing scattered outages around the Puget Sound area. The strongest wind gusts were reported north of Everett, where gusts reached 60 mph (97 kph) in Bellingham.
"Winds will begin easing by mid morning, and the High Wind Warning is scheduled to expire for all areas around noon," said Marriott. "In fact, the High Wind Warning has now ended for the north and central Washington coast."
Lots of new snow has fallen the past 24 hours in the mountains: 18 inches at Mount Baker, 14 inches at Crystal Mountain and 11 inches at Snoqualmie and Stevens passes.
Chains are required going eastbound on I-90 through Snoqualmie Pass, traction tires westbound. Traction tires are required in both directions at Stevens Pass and advised at White Pass. North Cascades Highway is closed for the winter.
"Snow levels will be rising around mid-morning to about 3,000-3,500 feet, then 5,000 feet this afternoon," said Marriott. "For higher elevations, we could see up to 30 inches of new snow."
As snow changes to rain in the mountains at or below 5,000 to 6,000 feet, rain will saturate the heavy snowpack, increasing avalanche dangers. Control work will likely be necessary, so prepare for possible pass closures.
Forecasters expect rain, showers and mountain snow to continue across the state through the Thanksgiving weekend.