Rain, wind, mountain snow -- November's stormy hat trick is on

Rain, wind, mountain snow -- November's stormy hat trick is on »Play Video
Salmon swim across Skokomish Valley Road in Mason County during heavy rain Tuesday morning.
SEATTLE - Depending on where you were Tuesday, it's probably either felt like a being in a hurricane, a tropical rain forest, Atlantis, or atop the Matterhorn amid a blasting snowstorm.

Or, for those of you along the Skokomish Valley Road, the final escape scene from Finding Nemo with salmon swimming across the road trying to get back to the water.

Just another November day in the Pacific Northwest.

A powerful cold front has brought wind gusts over 70 mph, heavy, drenching rains and to some parts of the mountains, nearly enough snow to where soon enough, we might be able to measure it in yards.

The day began with incredible wind speeds in spots, including a 74 mph gust in Ferndale and 70 mph in Bellingham.

Elsewhere, widespread wind gusts of 50 to 70 mph were reported at the coast, over the islands, and in the Northwest Interior, including Hoquiam that reached 59 mph, Oak Harbor clocked a 53 mph gust and several more leaves lost their battle to cling to their trees in Everett, where winds gusted to 47 mph.

The strong winds knocked out power to thousands across the region.

About 5,500 had lost power in Snohomish County PUD's territory, and about 1,200 Grays Harbor Public Utility District customers lost power at Tokeland, Moclips and Taholah, KBKW reported.

At the peak, Puget Sound Energy had about 10,000 customers out of service, scattered in Whatcom, Skagit and Island counties. Spokeswoman Dorothy Bracken said repair crews responded to about 100 locations. Seattle City Light also reported about 500 without power in the city. Most of those outages have now been repaired.

The storm also triggered a mudslide that blocked Redmond-Fall City Road at 267th Avenue NE. Crews were worried the slide would destabilize a retention pond and thus the road was expected to remain closed until early Wednesday morning.

The cold front drifted into southwestern Washington during the day Tuesday, bringing 2-6" of rain there, but by evening, it was drifting back north to cover more of the region as we headed into Tuesday night.

On the southern side of the front, winds were still going strong. Hoquiam reported a gust to 59 mph at 9 p.m. as it was 54 degrees outside, Meanwhile, just up the coast a bit in Forks, it was a chilly 42 degrees with a light north wind.

The winds along the coast were expected to remain strong until about midnight and a High Wind Warning was in effect there.

Winds are not a factor elsewhere overnight, just a lot more rain. As of 9 p.m., Seattle had received 1.68 inches of rain, smashing the daily record of 1.14" and still three more hours to add to the rain bucket.

It's been even more in the mountains, where 2-6" had fallen in the Olympics and Southern Cascade Mountains and another 2-5" expected by Wednesday morning.

The heavy rains are prompting river flooding concerns. Flood Warnings were in effect for the Puyallup, Deschutes, Newaukum, Chehalis, and Skokomish Rivers. Flood Watches were in effect for all other rivers not flowing off then northern Cascades. Get the latest flood forecast information here

For the Northern Cascades, it's been snow and it'll remain snow. A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for as much as another 1-2 feet of snow on top of the more-than-foot of snow that's already come down. Mt. Baker reported 16" of snow in 24 hours up to Tuesday evening.

More stormy weather on the way for Thanksgiving

The rain and, for the coast, wind will taper off as we get through Wednesday morning with a temporary calm period late Wednesday into early Thursday, but a fresh storm will come in on Thanksgiving Day, bringing a yet another round of heavy rain, gusty winds and mountains snow.

A High Wind Watch is in effect for the coast and Northwest Interior -- basically the same places that got really windy Monday into Tuesday -- from late Wednesday night through Thanksgiving evening as winds again are expected to gust as high as 60-65 mph. (Let's just hope we won't be cooking turkey by candle light this year.)

Winds in the Seattle metro areas will be gusting to around 40-45 mph.

And it's more rain for the lowlands, but one difference is that this is a cooler storm, so it's all snow in the mountains.

That means pass travel on Thanksgiving day will be treacherous with heavy snow at times. Snoqualmie and Stevens Pass could receive 8-12" of snow Thursday afternoon into Friday morning.

We dry out for Friday, but more rain and wind returns again for the weekend.

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