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'Potent storm system' to hit the Seattle area Monday, bringing strong winds, rain and thunder

By Alec Regimbal, SeattlePI

A woman crosses the road in rainy Seattle.

A woman crosses the road in rainy Seattle.

Rosanna U/Getty Images/Image Source

A storm will hit the Seattle area Monday and settle over the region through Wednesday, according to meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Seattle.

“A potent storm system will affect the area through Tuesday, bringing windy conditions, high surf, heavy mountain snow, widespread lowland rain and a few thunderstorms,” meteorologists wrote in their Monday forecast discussion


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The storm is expected to clear up early Wednesday. Afterward, forecasters say to expect clear skies and warm temperatures, with afternoon highs climbing to the 60s in some areas.

Rain totals early Monday were the highest in coastal communities, which saw 1.5 inches in some places. Totals remained under an inch throughout much of the lowlands. Meteorologists say those totals will likely increase as the storm persists, but say widespread river flooding is unlikely thanks to lowering snow levels.

The biggest threat, forecasters say, is wind.

“Winds have also been impressive since last evening, especially over the water where sustained winds of 40 mph have been reported with gusts around 50 mph,” meteorologists wrote in Monday’s forecast discussion. “Mostly over land winds have been sustained 20 to 30 mph, still impressive for early April.”

The strongest gusts are expected to hit the area early Monday. The weather service says to expect falling trees and power outages. Puget Sound Energy, which serves much of western Washington, said there were 102 outages affecting 27,566 customers as of 9 a.m. Monday.


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The threat of thunderstorms, which is highest in communities along the coast and on the Olympic Peninsula, should ease Monday evening. Until then, the weather service says those communities can expect gusty winds, small hail, lightening and heavy downpours.

The storm is also expected to bring heavy snow — as much as 2 feet in some areas — to Washington’s mountain passes through Tuesday. The weather service says motorists taking Interstate 90, Highway 2 and Highway 12 should prepare for treacherous driving conditions.

Alec Regimbal is a politics reporter at SFGATE. He graduated from Western Washington University with a bachelor's degree in journalism. A Washington State native, Alec previously wrote for the Yakima Herald-Republic and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He also spent two years as a political aide in the Washington State Legislature.