A slight reprieve from rain is forecast

ARLINGTON — Search-and-recovery crews trudging through the muck at the Oso landslide could get a slight break from the rain in the next couple of days, but the forecast calls for more showers during the week.

A 75 percent chance of rain was forecast for Sunday, decreasing to a 30 percent Sunday night and partial clearing on Monday, said Johnny Burg, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.

Starting Tuesday, showers are back in the forecast. No drenching storms are expected, Burg said.

“It’s going to be showery weather — it’s not going to be widespread rain,” he said.

River levels are expected to rise, but not enough to increase the flood threat on the North Fork Stillaguamish or other rivers, Burg said.

A flood warning for the upper portion of the river will remain in effect indefinitely, until pooled river water behind the slide begins to draw down, he said. A flash flood watch will likewise remain in effect downstream from the slide until the situation changes.

Officials said Friday the rainy weather the past few days was making recovery work in the slide zone much more difficult.

As of 2 p.m. Saturday, Oso had received 14.86 inches of rain in March, Burg said. In 13 hours, from 1 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, more than eight-tenths of an inch fell.

It’s not known if the monthly total is a record in Oso, because the weather service maintains a gauge there but not an official weather station, Burg said.

By comparison, however, it’s more than twice as much as Paine Field in Everett received for the same period — 6.53 inches — and that figure was bumping up against the record for March of 6.55 inches, Burg said.

Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; bsheets@heraldnet.com.

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