Atmospheric rivers to dump more heavy rains on Pacific Northwest

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Atmospheric river events threaten to bring more heavy rain over Thanksgiving night in Washington state and other parts of the Pacific Northwest, National Weather Service gives a warning.

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why it matters: The region is still recovering from last week’s storm that brought record rainfall, flooding and landslides, with Washington and Canada’s British Columbia particularly badly affected.

  • Officials in Washington are still assessing the cost of the severe storm, but they said it could reach $50 million in Whatcom County, in the state’s northwest. per AP,
  • At the border in Canada, the storm system was due to hit some BC areas where flood recovery efforts were still underway, with 2 more inches of rain expected to fall in the Fraser Valley by Friday morning, CBC News reports,

threat level: According to the latest NWS forecast, “The new atmospheric river that contains rich subtropical Pacific moisture is set to generate moderate to heavy rainfall over the Pacific Northwest Thursday night and again on Saturday.

  • “Prolonged moderate to heavy rain as well as intense snow melt could lead to additional runoff,” the agency said.
  • “This could result in rapidly rising creeks and currents, which could potentially lead to localized flooding in parts of western Washington.

“Locally heavy rainfall is also possible in far northwest Oregon, but the heaviest rainfall totals (1 to 3 inches) are likely to be in the Olympics and the North Cascades.”



What will happen next: According to the agency, there will be some relief on Friday, but there is a possibility of more heavy rain late Saturday night.

  • “This next atmospheric river event is expected to bring an additional 1 to 3 inches of rain over the Olympic and North Cascades beginning Saturday afternoon, with higher amounts possible locally,” the NWS said.
  • “Given the recent heavy rainfall, floods and excessive runoff, this will undoubtedly be a matter of concern once again.”
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During this, Southern California residents are facing an intense Santa Ana wind event through Friday. High wind warnings have been posted in mountain ranges and coastal areas.

  • “Gusts of up to 75 mph are expected in the mountains and foothills with widespread wind gusts of 35 to 60 mph,” the NWS said.
  • This combined with “dangerously low humidity levels” has triggered red flags and significant risk wildfire warnings to be issued by the Hurricane Prediction Center for the mountains and surrounding foothills of Southern California.

Editor’s Note: This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.


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