New round of windy weather ‘could easily drop more trees and power lines’ across region

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SEATTLE --  It's going to be windy today across Western Washington, but it might not be quite as windy as forecast models were predicting Saturday.

Still those strong winds may arrive sooner than initially expected.


"In general the models have backed off somewhat on the depth of the low," wrote a National Weather Service forecaster in the weather discussion Sunday morning.

Earlier computer models were predicting wind gusts between 55 and 70 mph for the afternoon and evening.  New data indicates winds will be strong, but gusts may only get to 60 miles per hour.

The High Wind Warning remains in effect for most of Western Washington from noon through 11pm.

"We are lowering the wind speeds somewhat -- essentially forecasting winds of 40 to 45 mph with gusts 55 to 60 mph rather than the 40 to 50 mph with gusts 70 mph of the previous forecast," wrote the NWS.

Still the storm is moving faster than initially predicted.  Now wind speeds are expected to begin increasing over the southwest interior and greater Puget Sound region during the early afternoon.

Q13 News Chief Meteorologist Walter Kelley says the strongest gusts will hit between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday.

They are expected to hit 50 miles per hour across Western Washington.

The winds will be accompanied by heavy rain and finally give way to passing showers and slightly lower winds on Monday.

The Q13 Weather team was warning residents to brace for damage.

"With the copious amounts of rain received this season, that could easily drop more trees and power lines," said Parella Lewis.

King, Pierce, Snohomish, Kitsap, Skagit, Mason, Lewis and Whatcom counties are officially under the High Wind Warning.

Many in the region were still cleaning up after a previous powerful storm blasted the area last week.

Whatcom and Kitsap Counties were especially hard hit.

Parts of Kitsap County have gotten close to 30 inches of rain since the beginning of the year, so emergency crews were worried that more trees could come down in today's windstorm and could take down power lines.

Puget Sound Energy just finished restoring power to more than 140,000 customers after Thursday’s storm. Saturday, they put a message on social media advising everyone to stock up on extra batteries and flashlights in case the power goes out again tomorrow.

Darcy and Gabrielle Monette still can’t believe a huge tree fell on their neighbor’s home in Poulsbo last week.

“I looked over and it was just falling sideways,” says Gabrielle. “I was like oh my god, look at the tree!”

The tree appeared to have a strong root system before the storm. Darcy says their neighbors never expected it to go down.

“They said they've lived here 35 years and that tree has survived windstorm after windstorm. But the ground is so saturated right now from all the rain, the trees are just going down.”


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