SEATTLE -- While long-time Northwest residents can boast that they're used to rain every day in November, wind storms are not usually a thrice-a -week event.
But they are this week.
A third storm in as many days is bearing down on our region, promising another round of up to 70 mph winds on the coast and 60 mph up north.
A High Wind Watch is back in effect for the coast and Northwest Interior, from Wednesday afternoon through Wednesday evening, meaning strong, damaging winds are possible. (One more High Wind Watch and we fill our punch card and get one free!) There's nothing up for the Puget Sound area, but we bet a dollar to a doughnut we get another Wind Advisory issued once we get closer.
Wednesday will begin thankfully calm, but it is the literal calm before the storm because weather gets quite active as we get into the latter part of the day, at least west and north.
Strong winds will roll up the coast in the late morning/midday hours and as we said, could gust as high as 60-70 mph again. (Not sure we'll topple Hoquiam's 70 mph gust it received Monday night, but we'll see). Winds will soon increase in the north interior around midday and gust possibly as high as 60 mph. (At last check, Bellingham was still in Washington, but another few hours of southeast gusts to 50 mph and it might breach the Canadian border.)
It looks like the peak gusts won't hit the Puget Sound area until around 7 p.m. and again, should top out in the 40-45 mph range -- really, about what we've seen with the past two storms. We've been very fortunate that these storms are taking a sharp northerly turn after landfall and thus, the Seattle Metro area has been largely spared compared to what it could have been had the storms taken more traditional tracks.
As for rain, it'll probably start around noon-ish on the coast and then roll into the interior around 4-5 p.m. and hang through the night. Flood Watches remain in effect for rivers in Grays Harbor, Lewis and Thurston County, but these might be expanded again depending on how much rain falls. Right now, predictions are for another 5-10" of rain in the Olympic Mountains, 3-6" over the North Cascades and Willapa Hills, and 1-3" across the rest of the Cascades. That would once again drive the Skokomish back over, and could cause renewed flooding on the Satsop, Puyallup and Newaukum, plus drive the already-high Chehalis over.
The wind will taper off Wednesday night for a while, but the rain just keeps going. (Note to self: Have our design department create an "Energizer Bunny" icon with raindrops on the bass drum).
Yet another storm moves in Thursday, number...I've lost track. This one is also fairly strong, but luckily it (at this point) weakens as it makes landfall on Central Vancouver Island and will make a sharp turn to the north, keeping the wind field from getting too far inland.
But it'll keep it wet and kinda windy -- probably gusts back to 40 on the coast and 30-35 north and inland (or as we call it now, "a light breeze"). One other change is this one will be a little cooler -- snow levels will be around 4,000 feet. That's a wintry mix at pass level, but gobs and gobs of snow above 4,000 feet. So much so a Winter Storm Watch is in effect for as much as 1-3 *feet* of snow by Friday morning. Again - mainly above pass level, but this could present some fresh avalanche challenges. On the other hand, the higher ski resorts will welcome it with open arms. Highs Thursday will be near 50.
Our relentless rain lingers into Friday, but should be lighter and start to taper off into the afternoon with highs in the upper 40s.
Does the weekend ever get any better?
Saturday begins with a few showers, but then that will mean it'll have been about 23 minutes since our last storm, so here comes another one. This one is just plain rain and breezy winds but nothing special on either front. This rain actually quickly tapers off Saturday night and Sunday might (sound the trumpets) have some hours-long dry periods! Still not totally dry, but it counts as a nice day by now. Highs both weekend days will be in the mid-upper 40s.
Monday starts off with -- what else? -- another storm with rain and wind, and then showers for Tuesday.
This keeps up, and people will think it rains a lot in Seattle!