Heavy rains heading for Washingtonon November 15, 2012 @ 7:29 am (Updated: 9:47 pm - 11/15/12 )
Get out the Gore-Tex. The National Weather Service says a series of strong Pacific frontal systems are heading toward the Northwest and will bring heavy rains at times this weekend and into next week.
Forecasters say the first storm will arrive late Friday night with strong winds. Rain is expected to continue through the weekend with another strong front on Sunday night and another on Monday night.
Rain totals in the Cascade and Olympic mountains could reach up to eight to 10 inches, while the lowlands and coast could get five to six inches of precipitation.
University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences Professor Cliff Mass writes on his blog that the last two weeks of November are typically the wettest period of the year, and this year won't disappoint.Mass says a large, cold trough will form over the eastern Pacific, establishing a persistent flow of moist air from the west and southwest, from coastal BC through Washington down to northern California, with 5-10 inches common, and 10-15 inches of rain possible in northwest California. He says the storms could produce strong winds along the coast and offshore.
Kirby Cook, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, says the traditional spigot of storms that soak the Northwest during the winter months is turning on. He says forecasts for a "neutral" winter with neither El Nino or La Nina dominating means "Anything is game. We could have any kind of winter."
"As I think most Northwesterners know, certainly folks in Western Washington, we can get all kinds of weather as we move into winter. Certainly we're transitioning back into a very wet pattern in the next week or so," he says.
The rains also are expected to extend through Eastern Washington valleys well into next week. Forecasters say the storms will likely drop heavy snow in the mountains above 3,500 feet.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report
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