Another atmospheric river, heavy rain hits Puget Sound region

Jan 11, 2022, 8:39 AM | Updated: 4:03 pm
rain, flooding...
Cars stop on Prather Rd. SW before turning around due to floodwaters from the Chehalis River flowing the road, Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, near Centralia, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Another atmospheric river is taking aim at Western Washington, bringing heavy rain to the Puget Sound region Tuesday and Wednesday.

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“We’re expecting another round of widespread rain throughout the region. Heaviest rain is going to be the Olympic Peninsula, followed by the North and Central Cascade region,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Mary Buttwin told KIRO Radio.

“It’s a lot but it’s not unheard of this time of year,” Buttwin added.

This will boost the risk of avalanches in the mountains, and flooding on rivers coming down out of the mountains. Land and mudslides are also possible in areas where the ground is already saturated.

KIRO 7 TV Meteorologist Nick Allard says unlike the flooding late last week and over the weekend, the heaviest rain this week will be over the Olympic Peninsula. But there could be renewed flooding on the Skokomish and Bogachiel rivers.

“While other rivers will rise, they’ll likely remain below flood stage,” Allard said.

Evacuations, search for missing persons continue after flooding in Washington

Allard expects more than 5 inches of rain will fall at the coast and in the Olympics, with 1-2 inches of rain for the Puget Sound region through Wednesday.

“In the mountains, snow levels rising above 5,000 feet tonight up to 7,000 to 8,000 feet tomorrow and Wednesday will increase avalanche danger by loading rainwater on all the new snow,” Allard notes. “However, we do have a Winter Weather Advisory for Stevens and Snoqualmie Pass for some freezing rain. Low level wind has temps below freezing still, which means icy conditions. Warmer air will scour out the pocket of cold air later this morning and into the afternoon.”

Looking ahead, the rain should taper off late Wednesday into Thursday. Early predictions from Allard for the weekend look “pretty tranquil” after the heavy rain in these next few days.

The KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report.

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Another atmospheric river, heavy rain hits Puget Sound region