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Drenching rains pound Western Washington, raising risk of flooding, landslides and avalanches

SEATTLE -- Drenching rains pounded Western Washington Monday, increasing our chances of river flooding, landslides in the lowlands, and avalanches in the mountains.

Q13 New Chief Meteorologist Walter Kelley said Monday started out very wet with the heaviest rain from noon through 5 p.m.

A silver lining for some will be the warm temperatures. Kelley said overnight temperatures into Monday will hover around 50 degrees and those temperatures will stay that way through Monday.

These are six rivers Q13 News is watching for flood concerns.

However, warmer temperatures mean melting mountain snow will come rushing down our rivers. Rivers out over the Olympic mountains will flood, Kelley said.

Rivers in Whatcom and Skagit counties are a concern too.

"It looks like we will not see major flooding, but remember if water gets over the roads 'turn around, don’t drown,' especially Monday night," Kelley said.

Landslides

Rainfall over the past 2 weeks has increased soil moisture to moderate levels across Western Washington. Additional rainfall of 0.50 to 1.50 inches in the interior with 2 to 4 inches on the coast will put extra pressure on soil instability, leading to an increased threat of landslides.

This past weekend, landslides were reported near Hoodsport and also in North Seattle.

Avalanches

A Backcountry Avalanche Warning has been issued in Whatcom County until 6 p.m. Monday.

That area includes the west slopes of the Washington Cascades from the Canadian border to the Skagit River including the Mount Baker area and the east slopes of the Washington Cascades Lake Chalan.

Traveling in that area is not recommended.

In their warning, the Northwest Avalanche Center very large and potentially destructive avalanches are likely due to warm temperatures and heavy rain winds.

Tuesday

Western Washingon returns to more January chilly showers Tuesday with an isolated thunderstorm. The passes will also get snow Tuesday through the weekend so more slick roads conditions over the mountain.