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Originally published January 10, 2014 at 8:46 PM | Page modified January 11, 2014 at 12:04 AM

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Windy weather to blow in some snow in the mountains

Wind gusts of up to 39 miles per hour, rain and a chance of thunderstorms are predicted for Saturday afternoon.


Seattle Times staff reporter

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Get ready to be blown away by the weather this weekend.

A high-wind watch was issued by the National Weather Service for Friday evening, and winds were expected to continue throughout the day Saturday.

Weather-service meteorologist Ni Cushmeer advises those planning to attend the Seahawks game against the New Orleans Saints on Saturday afternoon to dress in layers.

“Be prepared for chilly, blustery weather,” Cushmeer said. “The temperature is going to be in the 40s, but with the wind blowing, the rain and the chance of thunderstorms, it’s going to feel uncomfortable.”

The weather service issued a high-wind watch for the Seattle area on Friday, predicting steady winds of 20 to 35 miles per hour with gusts of 45 to 50 mph very late Friday and into early Saturday.

The wind is predicted to die down Saturday morning but pick up again slightly in the afternoon with gusts of up to 39 mph.

Periodic heavy rains are predicted through Saturday evening with a 100 percent chance of rain Saturday, according to the weather service.

A winter storm warning will be in effect for the mountain passes, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation, which warned of heavy snowfall and blizzard-like conditions on Saturday.

Cushmeer said Friday’s rain and warmer temperatures in the passes would keep the snowfall level at about 6,000 feet. But on Saturday, colder air and precipitation are expected to bring at least a foot of snow to Snoqualmie Pass.

At higher elevations, gusts of wind are expected to reach up to 65 miles per hour.

“It’s not going to be a good driving day,” she said.

A flood watch will be in effect for rivers in several Western Washington counties, including King, Snohomish and Pierce, the weather service says. In particular, the Skokomish, Stillaguamish, Tolt and Puyallup rivers are at risk of minor flooding, Cushmeer said.

A high-wind warning will be in effect through much of the weekend along the coast and around Whidbey Island, where wind gusts could reach up to 65 miles per hour, according to the weather service.

“We also have some big waves coming in that could cause flooding in some places like La Push, Ocean Shores and Westport,” Cushmeer said.

The weather service said there could be swells of 26 to 30 feet that could break over jetties and levies.

Cushmeer warned against going out on the beach to observe the waves.

“It’s tempting because it’s fascinating, but these waves will come in further and stronger than usual and it’s not a good idea.”

For more information, go to the state Department of Transportation website at wsdot.com/traffic/weather/ or see the National Weather Service website at http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/sew/.

Christine Clarridge can be reached at cclarridge@seattletimes.com or 206-464-8983.



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