Forecast: A ‘one-two punch’ of storms brings risk of river flooding, power outages

SEATTLE — The rain is already here and the wind is on its way. We’ve already seen scattered power outages from Bellingham to Olympia, and downed trees are a major concern.

Q13 Meteorologist Rebecca Stevenson says as of 5 a.m. Thursday, the rain gauge at Shelton had 0.92″ and at 8 a.m. a weather spotter reported to NWS that Potlatch had 2.25″ in 24 hours.

The rain has been heaviest on the south slopes of the Olympic mountains overnight. Mason county has Skokomish river in a Flood Warning, also at 8 a.m. Whatcom and Snohomish counties are in a Flood Watch for rivers and tributaries in the Cascade mountains.

Rain will continue through the day and brief downpours of heavier rain will be sneaking up from time to time. Estimates of rain totals by the end of Thursday are 1 to 3 inches for inland cities. A large circle of dry weather surrounded Port Townsend to Whidbey Island most of the morning and that's going to be where rain totals are lower.

And now, wind: Around 6 p.m., Thursday, the steady wind will increase for Seattle eventually becoming a sustained 25-40mph. Wind gusts, the sound of creaking houses and trees, along with the sound of fat rain drops slamming into windows will build into peak strength between 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. The strongest wind gusts will be 45mph to 55mph.

After 2 inches of rainfall then a good gust of 50mph, there's going to be downed trees with some of them curling up with power lines and taking them down too. Fresh water, whether bottled or filled in the tub, is going to be a good safety measure. Batteries for your flashlight or flameless candles are advised too.

If you don't use up your survival kit with this storm tonight, rain keeps falling in showers and wind continues to gust up to 40 mph all day Friday. If Friday passes and you still have a fully stocked safety/survival kit or pantry then the next chance to use it will be Saturday.

Saturday could be a very bad day for some of us. We wait until Friday afternoon to review weather models, current conditions, and development over the Pacific Ocean (of what used to be a typhoon) before we can determine which areas of the Northwest will be in the most danger of destructive natural forces.

Know your county resources to contact for emergencies while we weather these storms. There isn't a dry day in the 7 day forecast and we are tracking another storm for Tuesday too.