Wet forecast for Thanksgiving week in Washington
November 19, 2012 7:33 a.m. - Updated: 7:44 a.m.
SEATTLE — Wet and windy weather with mountain snow will continue this week in Washington, but there may be a lull for turkeys to land on Thanksgiving Day tables, forecasters said.
More Pacific storms that started rolling across the Northwest in waves over the weekend are on their way, according to the National Weather Service.
“Not a dry day for a while,” said meteorologist Johnny Burg at the agency’s office in Seattle.
Up to 5 inches of rain could fall in the next couple of days in the mountains below snow level and more than 2 inches in the Western Washington lowlands, heaviest on the coast, Burg said.
Rains already have pushed the Skokomish River in Mason County to flood stage and there’s a warning for minor flooding on the Chehalis River in southwest Washington. Some streams may overflow and streets could flood because of clogged drains. But no major flooding is expected.
Forecasters expect 9 to 30 inches of snow in the Olympics and Cascades, mostly above 4,000 feet. Changing periods of rains, snow or freezing rain will likely make driving a challenge through the Cascade highway passes, Burg said.
The snow level drops to 3,000 feet Wednesday, which would put snow on Interstate 90 at 3,000-foot Snoqualmie Pass and Highway 2 at 4,000-foot Stevens Pass.
“For people driving over the passes on Wednesday, they could be driving through some snow,” Burg said. By Thursday night the snow level is expected to rise back up to 5,500 feet. “The trip back might not be as bad,” he said.
The Pacific storms are rolling across Eastern Washington with the same mix of mountain snow and valley rains with a chance of minor flooding. High winds were added for Monday in parts of Eastern Washington.
There could be a break between storms for Thanksgiving Day.
“Somewhat of a lull,” said Burg. “There might be just a little bit of rain on Thursday as compared to a lot.”
Stormy weather has already caused small power outages in some areas. About 2,800 customers in the north Seattle suburb of Lake Forest Park lost power Sunday evening when a tree fell into power lines.
Continuing rain brings the danger of landslides, particularly in areas partial to mudslides, such as the railroad tracks along Puget Sound near Mukilteo.
Other November storms have brought more flooding and wind damage. With temperatures mostly in the 40s and 50s, there’s no threat of widespread snow in urban areas. November’s steady rain is Washington’s climate.
“This is typical for this time of year,” Burg said. “This is usually when we see windstorms, rain, river flooding and mountain snow. We’ve been lucky so far we haven’t seen a big wind. The winter is young.”
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