Heavy Rain Forecast for Western Washington; Winter Weather Alert Issued

Bryan Dijkhuizen

Wet and moderate weather is forecast over the next several days as a result of an atmospheric river aiming towards Western Washington.

The river will begin to rise and flow northward into British Columbia Wednesday evening. A cold front is expected to pass over the region on Thursday.

Upper-level ridge construction is expected to begin Friday and continue through at least the weekend, providing the region with a few dry days.

This morning's satellite picture shows an atmospheric river barreling straight at Western Washington.

Early this morning, the first wave embedded in the flow passed through, bringing rain over the majority of the southern section of the country.

Temperatures were in the mid-40s to lower 50s around 11 p.m. and 3 a.m.

During the next couple of days, the atmospheric river will stay focused on Western Washington.

Incorporated throughout the flow will be waves of heavier rain that will last into the afternoon on Wednesday. Today's snow levels are increasing. The temperature in Paradise (5400 feet) on Mount Rainier had risen to 35 degrees at 2 a.m., according to the latest available data.

Easterly winds at Stevens and Snoqualmie Pass kept temperatures at the pass's surface below freezing in the early hours of the morning.

This afternoon, a combination of weaker easterly gradients and rising westerly flow aloft will scour the cold air from the surface, bringing it to the surface.

The National Weather Service will issue a winter weather alert for Stevens and Snoqualmie passes early this morning, predicting up to 0.10 inches of ice accumulation along with freezing rain.

Temperatures are expected to rise into the lower 50s today. There was no change in temperatures overnight, with a few degrees of rising expected on Wednesday, bringing highs into the mid-50s.

Towards the north, an atmospheric river began to rise into British Columbia on Wednesday night. A lingering cold front will move over the area Thursday, bringing showers following the frontal passage.

Thursday will be one of those days when the temperatures will begin to fall down in the late afternoon and evening.

temperatures in the lower 50s Thursday morning, with temperatures falling to the mid-40s by Thursday evening.

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