EVERETT — Sunshine this week has graced Snohomish County with a short-lived respite from rain and storms.
Lightning surged through a fire station in Lynnwood on Thursday, knocking out power. In March, a small tornado tore through a car dealership in Monroe. Record-breaking rainfall kept public works crews busy with repairs after roadways flooded.
February, March and April set a new record in Everett for the wettest three-month period, said Johnny Burg, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle. The Paine Field weather station recorded a total of 14.24 inches of precipitation. Darrington also shattered their 1972 record with a total of 43.38 inches.
“It blew that old record out of the water,” Burg said.
Highway 530 near Oso was closed for five days in early April as state officials monitored a slow-moving landslide above Montague Creek, south of the highway and west of the 2014 mudslide that killed 43 people. Heavy rains had prompted repeated warnings of potential slides across the region.
Lake Serene rose with the surplus of rain and waterlogged back yards of homes along the shore. Smaller waterways, such as Scriber Creek in Lynnwood, also overflowed. Debris had blocked a culvert, causing water to flood walking paths and nearby roads.
On April 20, rain poured down in Lake Stevens for an hour straight. The National Weather Service estimated that two-thirds of an inch of rain fell. Meghan Jordan, a spokeswoman with Snohomish County Public Works, said some areas of town received up to two inches.
Homeowners watched their driveways wash out and worried about damage to their homes. A 60-foot-wide pool of water collected over Sunnyside Boulevard and shut down a stretch of the roadway for 24 hours.
This spring also has had its fair share of fluke storms.
Thunderstorms set in after Everett reached its first 70-degree day in May. Lightning struck a Lynnwood fire station near 44th Avenue West and 188th Street SW. The backup generator was knocked out. Puget Sound Energy and city maintenance crews worked through the night to restore power. The city’s phone lines, which originate at the fire station, also were damaged. Phone connection was intermittent following the storm.
Earlier in the spring, a tornado with winds reaching about 75 mph touched down in Monroe. Recreational vehicles parked at the Speedway Chevrolet along West Main Street were blown over and fell on top of an empty car. A Snohomish County Sheriff’s deputy saw wind gusts pick up a trampoline, carry it through a fence and into a nearby lake. Divers had to fish it out. The tornado was ranked EF0, the weakest classification for tornadoes.
Tornadoes are not unheard of in Washington. About two tornadoes occur each year, said Andy Haner with the National Weather Service.
“When you have a clash of air masses, especially when we have a very warm day, any cool air creates instability,” Burg said.
Looking forward, sunshine and 70-degree weather is forecast for Wednesday. Rain showers are expected to return Thursday and may stick around through Monday.
Caitlin Tompkins: 425-339-3192; firstname.lastname@example.org.