Thanksgiving weather: Expect snow in the passes, wind and rain throughout the area

  • By Rikki King and Eric Stevick Herald Writers
  • Wednesday, November 23, 2011 6:09pm
  • Local NewsLocal news

Thanksgiving Day is expected to be wet and windy, but Wednesday should have soaked up most of the nasty weather for the holiday weekend, according to the National Weather Service in Seattle.

Traversing the Cascade Range could be treacherous, however.

Meteorologists were predicting as many as four more inches of snowfall in the mountain passes overnight Wednesday and up to a foot of fresh snow between Thursday and Friday morning.

People who plan to travel for the holiday should plan extra driving time, said trooper Keith Leary with the Washington State Patrol. They should check weather forecasts and weather conditions before setting out, as well as making sure their vehicle is winter-ready.

The Arlington area saw some light flooding Wednesday, but rivers were expected to drop back below flood stage overnight.

A flood warning ended for the North Fork Stillaguamish River near Arlington but was expected to stay in effect for the lower Stillaguamish River until sometime Thursday morning.

History shows that late November is prime time for flooding on Snohomish County rivers. Indeed, some of the record crests along local rivers have occurred Nov. 23 through Nov. 25.

For the next few days, additional rain is expected to keep the rivers high in Snohomish County, but no significant rises are expected.

Today “will be a good, typical fall day,” weather service meteorologist Carl Cerniglia said.

Winds in the lowlands should stay around 15 to 25 mph, he said. Earlier windstorms should have knocked down most of the weaker tree branches, so storm-related power outages aren’t as likely.

However, higher winds are expected today north of the county and on Whidbey Island, Cerniglia said.

Whidbey could see winds of 25 to 35 mph, he said. People in areas with expected high winds might want to start cooking a little earlier in the day, in case they do have power problems.

When Friday rolls around, people in the lowlands can expect a few showers, light winds and maybe a few spots of sun, Cerniglia said.

Western Washington has been slammed by heavy rains and periods of high winds since Monday. Darrington recorded 3.9 inches of rain between Monday and Wednesday morning. Verlot was drenched with 8.5 inches.

Arlington may have seen some new records for rainfall, city spokeswoman Kristin Banfield said.

City officials were keeping an eye on water over a couple of roadways, but things were looking better Wednesday night, she said.

“We’ve done everything that we can. It’s just waiting for the water to dissipate,” she said.

The wet weather also caused a mudslide between Everett and Edmonds on Wednesday morning that cancelled passenger train service into Friday morning.

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