Powerful Storm Targets the Northwest

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


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