SEATTLE -- Normally when you think tropics, you think of mai-tais on the beach with the sun shining and a gentle breeze.
But there's a flip side to the tropics -- that warm, moist air that can make for a heavy rain -- ever hear of a tropical downpour?
That was the case for Western Washington this past weekend as a very wet system blew through the area, bringing heavy rain, gusty winds, and, well, tropical like temperatures. Highs Sunday were around 60 degrees in many spots, with Arlington and Oak Harbor hitting 63 and Vancouver, Wash getting to a balmy 69.
But it was the rain and wind that were most notable. While it was pretty wet, we dodged somewhat of a bullet as the storm track drifted a little to the north, keeping the heaviest rain in British Columbia. Still, mountain totals were in the 3-6 inches range in the Olympics, and about 2-4 inches in the Cascades -- enough to cause some flooding problems.
FLOOD WARNINGS were in effect for several rivers on Sunday and Monday. Check the KOMO Forecast Center for the latest rundown on which rivers are still on warning. A Flood Warning means flooding is occurring. All flooding is expected to be in the minor category.
In the lowlands, rain totals varied greatly thanks to the Olympic Rain Shadow (where places north and northeast of the Olympics were blocked from a bulk of the rain by those mountains.) Some spots outside the shadow had 2-5" of rain, while spots inside the shadow hardly had any.
Here's some storm totals as of Monday morning:
Friday Harbor: 0.55"
Oak Harbor: 0.50"
Port Angeles: 0.14"
(Now, look at a map and note the wide variation over relatively short distances, meteorologically speaking. Can you see where the rain shadow is? Sure demonstrates how variable the weather is around here. Forks is only about 60 miles from Port Angeles, yet had over 35 times the amount of rain with this storm.)
With the storm and its lower pressure sticking to the north, that allowed for a larger difference in pressure over our area, making for some gusty winds today. Generally speaking, wind gusts were in the 25-35 mph range, but there were a few places that went into the 40s and 50s.
Here's some peak gusts Sunday:
Brinnon: 56 mph
Oak Harbor: 55 mph
Birdsview: 52 mph
Alki Beach (Seattle): 48 mph
Arlington: 47 mph
Burlington: 46 mph
Everett: 44 mph
Bellingham: 39 mph
Bremerton: 39 mph
Shelton: 38 mph
The winds did knock down some trees in Skagit and Kitsap Counties.
The steady, heavy rains are ending this morning, moving down to our south, although a Convergence Zone has set up in King and Snohomish Counties, keeping it rainy there, but skies were already beginning to clear elsewhere.
Generally speaking, we'll just see scattered showers though the afternoon mixed in with partial clearing as we get through the day. Highs are going to cool off to the lower 50s.
There is a chance of light rain on Tuesday. And it will also be a bit cooler with highs dropping back to the upper 40s.
We can't rule out a shower or two to start Wednesday. After that, dry weather is in the outlook the rest of the week. Temperatures will warm up to the middle 50s by Thursday and the upper 50s on Friday.