Strong Pacific storm to bring mainly-minor impacts locally

Damaging winds stay north across coastal British Columbia

For sure, it is meteorologically interesting as an unusually powerful area of low pressure is developing hundreds of miles off the Washington and Oregon coasts. It will be undergoing a phenomenon called “bombogenesis” which is a term that means a rapid deeping/strengthening of an area of low pressure. (This is where the term “bomb cyclone” comes from.) The winds around this cyclone will be quite powerful tonight through Thursday until it makes landfall around Haida Gwaii – well up the B.C. coastline tomorrow night.

Were this storm much closer, we would certainly have major impacts in Western Washington. But we will not. The storm will be too far away for anything but fairly minor impacts – pretty typical fall weather. There are NO wind watches, warnings or advisories for any part of Western Washington and I really don’t anticipate any. There is a warning for gales in the coastal waters Thursday.

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Here are the specifics:

Through tonight, expect some periods of showers but continued blustery conditions with wind gusts in the 20-30 mph range through Thursday morning. As the area of low pressure reaches peak strength Thursday, it will move quickly north toward central/northern B.C. coast. Those locations from Tofino northward will experience damaging winds.

In Western Washington, we can expect wind gusts to touch 40 mph at times along the central and northern Washington coast Thursday as well as the western entrance of the Strait. The time of strongest winds in our area will be either side of midday. Away from the coast and Strait (including Puget Sound), we’ll still have wind gusts in the 25-35 mph range Thursday, much as we have today. Hang on to your hats! Leaves flying everywhere! But not unusual for October.

Also through Thursday, there is a slight chance of thunderstorms – through tonight mainly near the coast and on Thursday mainly at the coast and Olympic Peninsula, as well as south of Seattle.

It will also be unusually mild and muggy on Thursday with highs in the mid 60s in Seattle!

We will be cooler on Friday with occasional showers and sunbreaks. It’ll stay a little breezy still. Highs will be in the 50s. Snow levels will fall to around 4,000 feet (Stevens Pass.)

This weekend, expect cool temperatures with lowlands highs in the 50s and occasional bouts of rainfall and mountain snow. Whether we will have any pass travel trouble is unclear but temperatures could be cold enough for snow even down to Snoqualmie Pass anytime from Saturday through Monday.

It’s also likely to get breezy again Sunday afternoon into Monday morning as another area of low pressure passes by our state. This next system does bear watching as a closer approach of the storm center or a stronger area of low pressure than currently forecast could bring more impactful winds to the region to end the weekend or start next week, but right now there’s no cause for great concern. We’ll just watch how the forecast evolves in the coming few days.

Expect continued unsettled weather with rain and mountain snow through next week. With all the rainfall over the coming days, we could be looking at some minor flooding impacts along some rivers by some point next week.


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