Barrage of storms to blast British Columbia, northwestern US this week

By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
October 19, 2017, 2:44:26 PM EDT

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Bouts of rain and strong winds will be common across British Columbia and the northwestern United States as storms roll in one after another through the weekend.

The Northwest will turn stormy with a powerful jet stream setting up across the North Pacific this week, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jack Boston.

The jet stream is a stream of fast-moving air high in the atmosphere that guides storms.

On average, a new storm with a resurgence of rain and strong winds will arrive on the coasts of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest every 24 hours into the weekend.

NW Thursday regional 10.18 AM

“Each storm looks to be stronger as the week progresses,” Boston said.

As the unsettled pattern gets into full swing this week, rainfall will become heavier and winds will become more fierce with each storm. Highway travel and airline delays will mount.

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Following the first bout of wind-swept rain earlier this week, a more potent storm will soak British Columbia, western Washington and northwest Oregon through late week. Another round of stormy weather will push through over the weekend.

The bulk of the rain and wind will pummel southwestern British Columbia and northwestern Washington. As a result, this is where the greatest risk of localized flash flooding, sporadic power outages and tree damage can occur.

The risk of flash and river flooding will be heightened through the week as more rain falls over increasingly saturated soil.

Outside of any flooding, the rain will be beneficial to the region as much of the Pacific Northwest is contending with moderate drought. More severe drought conditions are occurring in Montana, but this area will be on the low receiving end of precipitation.

NW Stormy Weekend 10.18 PM

“Much less precipitation will fall east of the Cascade Mountains, but there will be the potential for strong, gusty winds,” Boston said.

The late-week storm will spread moisture the farthest inland and southward, including into Northern California, as well as deliver the chilliest air of the week.

By Friday, snow levels may fall to major mountain pass levels, including I-90’s Snoqualmie Pass, before a surge of milder air pushes through over the weekend.

“The stormy pattern will generally quiet down next week as the storm track shifts farther north,” Boston said. “However, northwestern Washington could still get clipped by a storm or two.”

Northwestern United States residents should prepare for an active stormy season as AccuWeather long-range meteorologists expect the region to experience above-normal precipitation, including abundant snowfall, this winter.

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