SEATTLE — A President’s Day storm brought record rainfall to the Pacific Northwest and sent rivers overflowing their banks in Western Washington on Tuesday.
The National Weather Service says the storm system, known as a “Pineapple Express” is now pointed toward Oregon, but more rain was expected in Western Washington for the rest of the week.
“It’s going to be pretty wet for a while,” said meteorologist Johnny Burg with the National Weather Service.
The weather service had flood warnings in effect for certain rivers in Clallam, King, Kittitas, Mason, Snohomish and Whatcom counties on Tuesday morning.
Most of those warnings were set to end by Tuesday evening, but two rivers were expected to remain at or near flood stage on Wednesday: the Snohomish River in Snohomish County and the Snoqualmie River in eastern King County.
At least 16 roads were closed Tuesday morning in Snohomish and King counties because of flooding. Urban and rural flooding was swamping some communities east of the Cascade Range as well, with flooding reported near Ellensburg and Yakima.
Record one-day rain totals for Monday were set in Bellingham and Quillayute near Forks. The Bellingham Airport reported 1.64 inches of rain, breaking the old record of 1.02 inches set in 1986.
The north Washington coast reported 3.34 inches of rain near Forks. The old record for Monday was 3.05 inches set 35 years ago.
While winter storms usually bring snow to the Cascade Range, last weekend’s storms brought a lot of rain to high elevations, according to Berg.
Snow levels were above 4,500 feet on both Monday and Tuesday and expected to rise to 6,000 overnight into Wednesday. Berg said skiers could look forward to more snowfall at lower levels by Thursday, when snow is expected to reach 3,000 feet.
That doesn’t mean people living in the lowlands can expect colder temperatures. The forecast called for normal winter temperatures in the 50s throughout the week, Berg said.