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Thunder possible Tuesday as strong storm tapers off

Nov 25, 2018, 10:18 PM | Updated: Nov 27, 2018, 8:04 am
storm...
Wind blew this power pole over a car near Anacortes Monday. (KIRO 7)
(KIRO 7)

Western Washington is recovering from a strong weather system that moved through the region Monday. But the storm isn’t over quite yet with some more rain Tuesday and maybe a little thunder.

“With some modest instability in the atmosphere Tuesday, a few of the showers could have a clap of thunder, too,” KIRO 7 Meteorologist Nick Allard said. “It will be mild Tuesday with highs in the mid 50s.”

Cities that could see storm activity are Seattle, Everett, Tacoma, Bellevue, Olympia, Bremerton, and Centralia.

Allard says that the storm system was “the first big wind storm of the season.”

“We’ll keep some showers in the forecast for Wednesday and Thursday, but plenty of drier times too,” he said. “More rain comes around on Friday with mountain snow.”

Flooding

About 7.5 inches of rain fell on the Olympics and and up to 5.5 inches fell on the North Cascades within 24 hours. Sea-Tac, Quillayute, and Hoquiam broke their respective daily records for rainfall on Nov. 26, according to the weather service. Another inch of rain is expected to fall over Tuesday.

That adds up to river flooding. Two rivers are flooding as of Tuesday morning are the Skokomish and the Nooksack. The Skagit River is expected to hit flood stage near Concrete later in the day.

Flood watches are in place for Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Whatcom, Clallam, and Skagit counties through Tuesday evening.

“For the Nooksack River, the main area that could see some problems are around Lynden,” said Dana Felton with the National Weather Service in Seattle. “We’ve got a flood warning out for the south fork of the Nooksack as well as for Cedarville. The upper reaches of the Skagit River right now — the flooding problems will be around Concrete.”

“The two rivers we are watching right now are the Bogachiel on the coast, and the Stillaguamish in Arlington,” he said. “Right now both are below flood stage, but are rising.”

The heavy rain has mostly come to an end, but there is more rain on the horizon. Felton said that flood concerns will continue into Wednesday.

The NWS also reports  that tides are expected to be about a foot higher than expected, leading to “minor tidal overflow” around San Juan, western Whatcom, western Skagit, Island and northeastern Jefferson counties.

Heavy winds

A High Wind Warning was in effect until 4 a.m. Tuesday for areas around Bellingham and the San Juan Islands. By 6 a.m., the National Weather Service noted high winds around Whidbey Island.

There were also high wind warnings for the coast, Admiralty Inlet, and North Interior until early Tuesday. There were sustained winds with around 25-40 mph with gusts in the 50-60 mph range.

Ferry routes affected by storm

The storm affected ferry routes early Monday morning. It caused cancellations throughout the day.

“It’s really rare for us to have to cancel any service in Central Puget Sound, but the outlying ferry routes, like Port Townsend Coupeville, we’ve already canceled one round trip sailing due to gale force winds,” said Ian Sterling with Washington State Ferries. “It’s blowing 50-60 mph out there and you got high seas …. other places to keep an eye on would be the San Juan Islands today.”

“Mother Nature is the boss out there and we allow our captains … to make the call whether it’s safe to go across the water or not,” he said. “We’ve got the safest ferry system on the planet and we want to keep it that way.”

Sterling also said that even if the ferries do make a run, they may not fully load boats in case of large waves coming onto the deck.

KIRO 7 contributed to this report.

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Thunder possible Tuesday as strong storm tapers off