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Friday, November 16, 2012 - Page updated at 08:30 p.m.
Storm systems expected to roll in this weekend
By Jack Broom
Seattle Times staff reporter
If you like good old-fashioned Western Washington rainstorms, you'll love the weather expected to kick in this weekend.
"We're looking at four significant weather systems in five days," said Chris Burke of the National Weather Service, saying the storms are expected to hit Saturday, Sunday night, Monday night and again on Wednesday.
In all, they could drop 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches of rain in the Puget Sound lowlands, and about twice that near the coast.
Heavier precipitation is expected in the mountains, falling as snow in higher elevations. Over the next week, the Weather Service expects snow levels to fluctuate between 3,000 and 5,000 feet. The remaining open high pass, Washington Pass on the North Cascades Highway, will likely close.
The lower passes may also get snow but are expected to stay open. Snoqualmie Pass will likely see mostly rain or a rain-snow mix. But Stevens Pass, 1,000 feet higher, could get 10 inches of snow or more over the weekend, according to the forecast.
It's also expected to be breezy on the coast and in the mountains, less so in the Greater Seattle area.
Is there an explanation for the soggy weather pattern heading our way from the Pacific?
"Yes," Burke said. "It's called November."
November is typically the wettest month in the Seattle area, and the month's last two weeks are the rainiest.
Through Wednesday, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport had recorded 1.96 inches of rain so far this month, compared with a normal 2.96 inches for November's first two weeks.
"So we're an inch down, but I have a suspicion we'll make that up," Burke said. Normal Sea-Tac precipitation for all of November is 6.57 inches.
Because the coming precipitation will be spread out over five days, it's not as likely to produce flooding as it would if it all fell in a day or two, Burke said.
The Weather Service did release a floodwatch warning for Skokomish River in Mason County, however, because of the cumulative effect the storms could have on the area.
The service expects the wet weather to last until at least Thanksgiving, but the forecast after that is hazy.
Seattle Times staff reporter Alexa Vaughn
contributed to this report.
Jack Broom: 206-464-2222 or email@example.com
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