Apple Cup to air Saturday on Q13 FOX
Track incoming storms & get severe weather alerts — download the free Q13 News app

Satellite image shows series of storms stretching from China to Pacific Northwest

SEATTLE — The Pacific Northwest’s first fall windstorm of 2017 is headed our way.

Clean gutters and drainage grating are a good start for the week, but Wednesday and Thursday might require a revisit to clean more leaves, twigs, and debris from our ditches and side streets. Be sure to have your rain boots and hooded jackets handy, because an atmospheric river will siphon fall rain into Western Washington both days coupled with blustery, breezy, wind.

Q13 News Meteorologist Rebecca Stevenson says this is a recipe for localized flooding.

Estimated weather model rain totals for Sea-Tac on Tuesday through Saturday are near 4.5 inches, but the model projects higher rain amounts in Bellingham Tuesday through Saturday, with 7.3 inches.

Get the free Q13 News app for traffic alerts and the Q13 Weather app to track severe weather

Pacific Northwest long-range forecast: Will winter be wild or mild?

Tuesday morning will get the wet stretch of weather started. By Tuesday afternoon, the first round will to decrease, allowing a dry break until Wednesday morning.

Chief Meteorologist Walter Kelley says early Tuesday will be wet and gusty during the morning commute.

"Places like Bellingham will have wind gusts over 45 mph, and this could cause some weak trees or branches to fall," Kelley said.

The main Metro area around Seattle will have gusts closer to 35 mph.

The mother of raindrops arrives Wednesday morning and remains through Thursday. Rain will be heavy at times.

"Very wet and windy Wednesday and Thursday, with highs in the upper 50s," said Q13 News Meteorologist M.J. McDermott. "Notice it's pretty mild, so we are not talking about mountain snow with this - rain at pass level. We could see some river rises, not sure about flooding. Rivers are pretty low right now."

Stevenson says that while the atmospheric river is pointed into the area, the Olympic mountains and north to central Cascades will receive the highest rain totals. The lee side of the Olympics will have lighter rainfall at times near Whidbey Island to central Seattle. Wind will be coupled up with the rain to shake out small twigs and limbs, along with heavier leaves from the trees.

Satellite images show a series of storms stretching from coastal China to the West Coast of North America.

No one will be spared from the first round of fall storms, which start the process of cleaning out the dry and old to prepare for the freeze of winter.

Preparing your home for the storm

Again this year, Q13 News is partnering with Take Winter By Storm, a public-private effort between King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, Seattle City Lights, the National Weather Service and other utilities and retailers, to get you ready for storm season.

The organization has tips to help you prepare for storms and access to a number of checklists to help you and your family before, during and after a winter storm.

Take Winter By Storm is reminding the public to clear any storm drains of leaves that might clog it -- creating urban flooding in neighborhood streets. Also, check your gutters as clogs could create flooding around your home.

Also, think about having an emergency kit in your home if the power goes out.

Shortening power outages: Seattle City Light has a plan

When Friday arrives, the rain will fall in a showery pattern with some sunbreaks. The air will cool and a thunderstorm or small hail in heavy showers are expected. Saturday appears to be another round of rain, heavy at times, with emphasis over the South Sound.