High winds and a river of rain headed for Seattle
A storm is on its way that could bring up to 5 inches of rain and 55-mile-per-hour gusts of wind to Western Washington, according to the National Weather Service of Seattle.
Driving the news: The most significant atmospheric river to affect the Puget Sound so far this season is expected to arrive Thursday evening and last through Friday night or Saturday morning. Peak wind gusts between 35 and 40 mph are forecast for Friday afternoon through evening in Seattle.
What we're watching: The coast, the Cascades and some parts of the interior, including Olympia, could get 3 to 5 inches of rain by Saturday, said meteorologist Jacob DeFlitch. The Seattle to Everett region, however, could get as little as an inch as it will be in the rain shadow caused by the Olympic Mountains.
- Strong southwesterly winds will impact all of Western Washington with tree damage and power outages possible.
- Gusts of up to 55 mph are expected near Whidbey Island, the San Juan Islands and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, said NWS meteorologist Kayla Mazurkiewicz.
- River flooding is also a concern.
What's next: Temperatures will start to drop into the low 40s early next week as northerly winds from the Fraser River Valley in Canada pick up, said Mazurkiewicz.
She said she doesn't expect snow in the lowlands, but isn't completely ruling out the chance for a few flakes.
Our thought bubbles: These storms are part of our typical Pacific Northwest winter, but the first is often eventful because still leaf-laden trees are more likely to fall.
- Axios climate reporter Andrew Freedman: This winter will be another La Niña winter, which can result in more frequent and intense atmospheric river events in the Pacific Northwest.
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