Powerful Storm Targets the Northwest

By Matt Alto, Meteorologist
October 15, 2012; 5:45 PM ET
Share |

After several locations across the Northwest ended the weekend on a soggy note from a strong storm system, more unsettled weather is on the way for the first half of the week.

This weekend's storm delivered some pretty hefty rainfall amounts as it moved through western Washington on Saturday afternoon and out of the Northwest on Sunday night.

A general 0.50-1.00 inches of rain fell across coastal locations of Washington and Oregon from late on Saturday into Sunday with many areas in the Cascades picking up over an inch of rain.

The Olympic Mountains of Washington received the most rainfall this weekend, with up to 7 inches. Some locations in the northern Cascades had as much as 6 inches of rain.

On Sunday, Quillayute, Wash., picked up 2.62 inches of rain which broke the record of 2.02 inches set in 2006.

After respite from the rain this morning across the Northwest, a faster and more vigorous frontal system will bring another round of significant rain this afternoon and lasting into tonight.

Rain and wind will increase across the Pacific Northwest this afternoon as the powerful Pacific storm approaches the region.

Another 2-4 inches of rain will be likely in the Olympics and Cascades with another general 1-2 inches falling in many of the valleys.

Periods of moderate to heavy rain will be possible which will lead to areas of standing water and slick roadways. Travelers can anticipate slow travel on the interstates. The rain will likely lead to some delays at airports across the region.

Sustained winds over the coastal locations of Washington and Oregon will be between 20-30 mph through Tuesday with gusts as high as 50 mph.

The adverse weather will then spread across the rest of the Northwest and northern Rockies on Monday night into Tuesday. A healthy, widespread dosing of rain will fall across these locations as well.

As the storm system passes through central and eastern Washington and Oregon on Tuesday, it will bring widespread gusty winds to the Columbia Basin, the Yakima Valley and the foothills of the Blue Mountains.

Sustained winds of 30-40 mph with gusts greater than 50 mph will be common. Winds of this magnitude could cause damage to power lines, trees and loose outdoor lawn furniture. High profile vehicles will also be impacted and operators should use caution, especially when crossing through the passes.

Dry weather is expected on Wednesday as high pressure builds across the Northwest. Some more unsettled weather may arrive to portions of northwestern Washington on Thursday.


Comments left here should adhere to the AccuWeather.com Community Guidelines. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

More Weather News

Daily U.S. Extremes

past 24 hours

  Extreme Location
High N/A
Low N/A
Precip N/A


This Day In Weather History

Northeast (1950)
Great Appalachian Storm (24th-26th) developed greatest wind force, deepest snow, most severe early-season cold in history of the Northeast: 18.8 inches of snow at Akron, OH; Youngstown, OH, had a maximum 24-hour snowfall of 20.7 inches and a maximum single storm total of 28.7 inches; Steubenville, OH, had a maximum single storm total of 36.3 inches; Pittsburgh, PA, had a maximum 24-hour snowfall of 20.1 inches and a maximum single storm total of 27.7 inches; and Charleston, WV had a maximum 24-hour snowfall of 15.1 inches and a maximum single storm total of 25.6 inches. At coastal stations such as Newark and Boston single-minute wind speeds in excess of 80 mph were registered. There was a 108 mph gust at Newark. Peak gusts of 110 were noticed at Concord, NH; 108 mph at Newark, NJ; and 100 mph at Hartford, CT. Atop Mt. Washington, a wind gust of 160 mph hit from the southeast early on the 26th. Central Park, in the heart of sheltered Manhattan Island, set an 80-year record of 70 mph.

Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton (1971)
Heavy snowfall in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area. It started to snow the night before, and by about noon Thanksgiving Day 11/25/71, 20.5 inches of snow was reported on the ground at the Avoca, PA airport. Some of the surrounding areas had even more snow. Dallas, PA, had 27 inches and parts of the Poconos had as much as 30 inches. Barn roofs collapsed, power lines were downed, and tree branches were broken. The majority of the snow fell within 12 hours.

AL/GA/FL (1979)
A dozen tornadoes across these states.

Rough Weather