Autumn-like storm takes aim at Northwest; firefighters hope for relief

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SEATTLE- The calendar might say August-- but it will feel like late September this weekend in the Pacific Northwest.

A series of storms will move bands of heavy rain through the region.

The first band of rain moved through early Friday morning-- and more is expected over the course of the weekend.

A trough of rain coming through.

A trough of rain coming through.

We've been tracking the first low sitting off the coast of California for more than week. It's been stalled by a ridge of high pressure over the Rocky Mountains. As that ridge moves off to the east, we're seeing the low move on shore.

A second low pressure system is looking to drop down from the Gulf of Alaska to make our Saturday quite blustery. A HIGH WIND WATCH is up for the southern Washington Coast and most of the Oregon coast as well as a big chunk of NE Washington. The National Weather Service will likely upgrade this soon into a  HIGH WIND WARNING with gusts up to 70 mph possible in the advisory area.

I would not be surprised if a WIND ADVISORY is issued on Saturday for the breezy conditions expected around the Puget Sound. The system is being Satellite IRfueled by both tropical moisture and upper level jet stream winds.

Rainfall totals through Sunday evening look quite impressive for many areas. Some of the forecast models expect nearly 3" for the Olympic Mountains and some parts of the Cascades could catch 5" of rain, especially the north side of the mountains.

The rain and cooler temperatures will help crews get a handle of some of the massive wildfires burning in Central and Eastern Washington. On Friday morning, rain in Mason County helped douse a fast-moving wildfire. Though it was not completely out, officials said the rain helped them get a good handle on the blaze.

Inches of rain are expected in many parts of Washington

Inches of rain are expected in many parts of Washington

But it's not all good news. The winds that precede the rain could cause blowing dust and spark even more fires, however.

The weekend will also be much cooler than normal for this time of year. Forecast highs for Saturday and Sunday for Seattle will be in the upper 60s. That's the normal for late September, literally the beginning of autumn. A snow level going down all the way towards 8,000 ft will also help to douse some of the higher elevation fires as well.

The normal high temperature for Seattle for this part of late August is 75 degrees. Though nothing about this summer would be considered "normal". Our stretch of weather from April through June was the driest ever for Seattle. July was our hottest month ever in the Emerald City. And we've broken numerous records at SeaTac: the number of days in a row above 70, number of total days above 80 (so far 49 in 2015), and number of days in a year above 90 (at 12 and counting).

Don't think that we're done with summer just yet, though. The latest we've ever seen a temp above 90 is September 22nd. The latest we've ever seen a temp in the 80s is October 14th at SeaTac.

So, despite this weekend's fall-like forecast, there's still very likely a lot of summer weather ahead.


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