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Originally published January 8, 2009 at 11:20 AM | Page modified January 9, 2009 at 1:14 AM

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Calmer, cooler weather forecast

Following heavy rain, strong winds and a lot of flooding, the weather is expected to be much calmer over the next couple of days as temperatures go down and rain in the mountain passes turns to snow. However, rivers will remain high.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Following heavy rain, strong winds and a lot of flooding, the weather is expected to be much calmer over the next couple of days as temperatures go down and rain in the mountain passes turns to snow.

It's now snowing on Snoqualmie Pass, the lowest pass in the Cascades, and the snow level is down to 3,000 feet, said National Weather Service meteorologist Andy Haner.

"This is a good thing because any precipitation that falls will not run off into rivers. It won't exacerbate the situation," he said.

Temperatures tonight and tomorrow will be cooler, into the mid-30s tonight and only into the mid 40s Friday.

"After that, there will be progressively warmer air through the weekend and by Monday Seattle could be close to 50 degrees."

Rain showers may continue into Sunday, but will end on Monday and sunshine is expected on Tuesday.

Western Washington rivers continue to run high and some still have not crested, said meteorologist Chris Burke.

This is the river situation as of late this morning:

• Stillaguamish: Expecting near record flooding on north fork and main fork near Arlington. Both may have crested, but it won't be until late tonight or Friday before the river falls below flood stage. "The river is still extremely high," said Burke.

• Snoqualmie at Carnation reached record crest of 61.55 feet at 4 a.m. today, breaking the record of 61.2 feet. It is expected to fall below flood stage by Friday night.

• Snohomish: At Monroe has not yet crested, with the crest near 23.8 feet expected this afternoon. While it is contributing to major flooding, it's not at a record level.

• Snohomish at Snohomish: It stands at 32.6 feet, just below the record 33.5 feet. Burke expects a near record, around 33 feet when it crests, near midnight tonight. He said it will take until Saturday to fall below flood stage. Burke said several levies were breached in the lower Snohomish valley, flooding fields and likely will flood Highway 9.

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• Skookumchuck has not crested at Bucoda or Centralia and the forecast is for major flooding. The river is expected to crest about 4 p.m. today.

• Chehalis River is forecast to crest between 4 and 10 p.m. today and is also at major flood level, though not a record.

Susan Gilmore: 206-464-2054 or sgilmore@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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