‘Pineapple Express’ brings rain, flooding, possible landslides to Puget Sound region
Some call it a “rain maker” weather system. Others label it an “atmospheric river.” More colloquially, though, the warm moisture descending on Western Washington this week is known in most circles as a “Pineapple Express.”
Parts of the Puget Sound region can expect up to an inch of rain Tuesday as a result, with temperatures warming up to the mid-50s.
That could cause some problems depending on where you are, with the National Weather Service cautioning against overflowing in rivers flowing off of the Olympics and Cascades.
To that end, the NWS issued a flood watch that extends Monday evening through Tuesday night, covering portions of Clallam, Jefferson, Mason, King, and Snohomish counties.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources also warns of possible landslides in some areas, caused by “sustained periods of rain like (the National Weather Service) is forecasting this week.”
That risk of flooding could persist into the near future, brought on by what former NWS meteorologist Ted Buehner labels a “neutral winter.”
“When you look at our history for neutral winters around here and you rank him for big weather events like floods, windstorm, and snowstorms, number one in neutral years (are) major flood events,” he told KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross.
Pointing out that floods in the Puget Sound region are most common in November, he advises people to start preparing now for both flooding and wind.
“From my personal perspective, I’ve done a lot of preparedness around my house,” said Buehner. “My roof is clean, gutters are clean, I’ve trimmed the trees. I’ve got all these other things that I’ve been doing to try to get ready in case we have a big windstorm or anything along those lines, where I may lose power for a period of time.”
The weekend saw similarly rainy weather in Seattle, which, on Sunday, had its most precipitation since Feb. 11.
Western Washington will at least see a brief reprieve in the middle of the week, with dry weather in the forecast for Wednesday and Thursday, before another rainy system moves in on Friday and Saturday.