SEATTLE (AP) — Western Washington and Oregon are in for a winter wallop this weekend with strong winds, widespread rain in the lowlands, and significant mountain snow to start off 2021.
The National Weather Service said heavy rainfall will increase the threat of landslides in western Washington. The lowlands recorded 3 to 10 inches of rain over the last 18 days, which the weather service said increased soil moisture to high levels. Another 1 to 8 inches of rain is expected Friday through Sunday, which will put extra pressure on the soil instability.
A Wind Advisory will be active between 4 p.m. and midnight in the Willamette Valley in Oregon.
Sustained winds around Puget Sound are expected at 20-30 mph this weekend, with gusts up to 55 mph. Winds along the coast could be gusting 65-75 mph. Plus, breakers along the coast will be up to 28 feet from Pacific County to the south, through Northern and Central Oregon.
Snow levels will rise up to 6,000 feet on Friday, bringing rain to the Olympic Peninsula and keeping mountain snow to the highest elevations, KING5 reported.
The next system moves into the region Saturday. The National Weather Service says we could see a “slew of hazards,” including mountain snow, potential urban and river flooding, and strong winds.
Snow levels could drop back down to 2,500 feet by Sunday morning. An additional 1-2 feet of snow will be possible for Stevens Pass and 6-8 inches for Snoqualmie.
Travel over the passes could be challenging this weekend. Drivers are urged to check road conditions and chain requirements before traveling over the passes.
This weekend’s storm will come after an earlier system this week dumped 28 inches of snow at Mount Baker, 20 inches at Stevens Pass and 24 inches at Snoqualmie Pass by noon on Thursday.