Heavy rain, strong winds to pummel region; flooding, power outages likely

SEATTLE -- Don't let the rain Thursday morning fool you -- it's just the start of what forecasters believe will be a one-two punch of heavy rain and strong windstorms that will smack our region.

Thursday will be wet for everyone, with over an inch for the metro area, Q13 News Meteorologist Walter Kelley said. The heaviest rain will start at about 4 p.m. Thursday, which is likely to bring standing water on the roads. The mountains will get over 4 inches of rain and that will make area rivers run high and fast. The Skokomish should flood by Friday morning.

The winds will be strongest at the coastal beaches, with gusts over 60 mph, Kelley said. The Seattle metro area will get gusts of about 40 mph from 9 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday.

Friday will have gusty winds and isolated storms with some hail possible but it will not be as wet as Thursday and there will even be some sun breaks, Kelley said.

Second Storm

In a special weather statement, the NWS said there is a deep low-pressure center that will move over the region and peak in strength on Saturday. This low-pressure is the remnants of Typhoon Songda. The second storm will hit Saturday. The National Weather Service in Seattle called special attention to this storm Wednesday, saying it could have the potential to be "historical."

The NWS said which path the low takes will make a huge difference in how badly the storm is.

The agency says, "There is a 1 in 3 chance of the low center directly crossing some part of Western Washington. This would be a worst case scenario leading to a historical windstorm for nearly all of Western Washington that would be long remembered."

"There is a 2 in 3 chance that the low center will pass hundreds of miles off the coast making landfall over central or northern Vancouver Island instead.

"This outcome confine the most damaging winds to the coast and to the north interior (areas north of Everett) but inland locations such as the Puget Sound region and the I-5 corridor of southwest Washington would experience the type of windstorm that would normally be expected few times each storm season."

The National Weather Service says, either way, all residents should prepare for an intense windstorm, with the likelihood for stronger wind than the first storm, and the possibility of widespread wind damage and significant power outages.

Kelley said the second storm on Saturday will be wet and windy with stronger gusts than Thursday. The coast could get winds over 75 mph, Kelley said. The metro area will be windy, too, with gusts of about 50 mph.

In addition, "High tides, with the wind and full moon Saturday night, will cause some tidal overflow for Puget Sound," Kelley said.

The storm exits Sunday, so "the weather should be reasonable for the Seahawks game," Kelley added.

You can find more information about protecting your family and reporting storm damage or flooding here.