This week is going to be yet another, slogging, soaker. Much of the North Sound has already received over 70 percent of the entire month’s average rainfall and this week’s additional one to three inches of rain will add to that total.
Mountain areas will likely get as much as 10 inches of precipitation in just a few days. Rain or snow?
The source of this week’s wet weather is what we all know as the pineapple express. Here is what the latest infrared satellite image loop looks like across the Northern Pacific, infrared satellite image loop. Then, look at it from a water vapor satellite image loop, water vapor satellite image loop, and you will see a warm, moist plume of subtropical air approaching our region that is going to dump huge amounts of rain.
Many, possible and serious impacts include:
Saturated soils and landslides – Our region’s soils are already soaked. Adding more rain will increase the threat of landslides on steep slopes. If you live at the base of an embankment, please be watching and aware for the potential for it to give way.
Windy at times – With blustery wind conditions predicted, this can likely result in downed trees and power lines. Make sure your batteries are current and you have a flashlight in each room of your home you frequent. These should include your nightstand, bathroom, kitchen, and a common room.
Rising rivers and potential flooding – All the rain will also drive rivers and streams higher with a threat of flooding in many parts of the North Sound, especially in low lying areas. If you live in a flood prone area, take steps ahead of time. Have sandbags ready, and an evacuation plan that might save lives.
Rising snow levels and avalanche threat – The warm, moist air mass will push mountain snow levels to at least 6000 feet, meaning more lower elevation rain runoff into our rivers. The mountain snowpack will soak in much of the rain, but it will also increase the threat of avalanches with a heavier layer of snow on top of all the snow. Do not go back country skiing and avoid traveling the passes except in an emergency.
If you do need to make that trip, make sure your vehicle is properly equipped with tires and chains, and you have water, food, and blankets on board in case of a lengthy pass shutdown. If driving over the Cascades, DOT crews will likely be conducting avalanche control at times resulting in delays.
Most importantly, turn around, do not drown. Only a couple of feet of water can float a car.
Conditions look to dry out on Thursday before a weaker and not as wet weather system arrives Friday. Remember, when you are weather aware, you are weather prepared.