Submitted by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
At an 11:00 am webinar this morning, the National Weather Service in Seattle has indicated a series of three storm systems is approaching Western Washington, each with significant wind, rain and potential coastal and river flood issues.
Beginning late Wednesday night, the first storm system will arrive with rain, heavy at times. Forecast rainfall for this first event is 3.14” for Hoquiam. On Thursday afternoon, the winds will increase to 30-40 mph gusting to 60 mph along coastal areas. Rainy, windy and gusty conditions will be felt throughout the county. Seas will build to 20’ causing significant beach run-up and beach erosion issues. All rivers and streams will rise during this event, but none are forecast to flood. This system will depart sometime in the early morning hours on Friday. Friday will give us some respite, although with rain showers until Saturday.
The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued a High Wind Watch for the Central Coast, (Grays Harbor County), from 6:00 pm Thursday evening through 6:00 am Friday morning, with sustained winds forecast along the coast to be 30-40 mph, gusting to 60 mph.
Storm # 2 (Possibly the most powerful)
This storm is projected to arrive Saturday morning and last through Sunday morning. Models still vary, but if the storm tracks into Western Washington (33% chance), the storm has the potential of being a very significant wind event. If it tracks off the coast into Vancouver B.C. (66% chance), we will still be impacted by significant winds, likely higher than the first storm. This storm is actually the remnants of Typhoon Songda from the Western Pacific. It will intensify through Saturday. Heavy rain will occur but not as much as Storm # 1. The area will be saturated from the first storm so any additional rain could create flooding issues on area rivers. All coastal areas will be subject to salt water coastal flooding. At this time no area rivers are forecast to flood.
Seas will grow to 30’ or more during this storm event, making area beaches, piers and jetties very hazardous due to high wave run up, beach erosion and the possibility of frequent sneaker waves.
More information will be available tomorrow and as we approach Saturday.
Storm # 3
Another significant storm is tracking towards us and is expected to arrive Tuesday. More information will be available as we move closer to Tuesday.
Clam Dig Alert
Grays Harbor Emergency Management urges extreme caution to anyone venturing along the beaches for any reason – especially while digging Clams. This weekend, most area beaches open to Clam Digging. These powerful storms will make beaches extremely hazardous with long wave run –up, potential for numerous sneaker waves, overtopping of piers and jetties and significant beach erosion. These Clam Digs will be at night, in darkness, increasing the hazardous conditions to anyone on the beaches. Do not turn your back on the sea.
Potential impacts from the storms
Be aware most trees have full canopies of leaves making these wind events very significant. Be alert for downed trees, tree limbs and power lines. Power outages could occur at any time. DO NOT attempt to move power lines or trim tree limbs tangled with power lines.
Be extremely alert while driving over the next few days, especially during periods of heavy rain. Rain may pool along edges of roadways and also reduce visibility significantly, creating hazardous driving conditions.