Thursday, November 6, 2008

Watches, warnings and forecasts...

I looked at the mountain pass cameras this morning and finally got a glimpse of some snow. Hope you all made it through the passes okay. The snow was what I would call the "pretty stuff" - the big, warm flakes that look really pretty coming down, but don't really stick to the roads all that much. Since the snow has mostly fallen in overnight hours, this was my first glimpse. It should warm up soon and this will turn to rain.

Yup, here comes the rain....This was in my inbox this morning, "New information is strongly suggesting a stalled storm centered over the north to central Cascades trailing back across the Olympics to well offshore to the SW. Several inches of rainfall from this event could easily get rung out in the mountain areas as well as adjacent lowlands. Right now, the target zones for the most rain and runoff extend from Whatcom to King County westward through northern Grays Harbor to south of Forks."

Also this one: "THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SEATTLE HAS EXPANDED THE FLOOD WATCH TO INCLUDE A PORTION OF WESTERN WASHINGTON...
INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING COUNTIES...KING...KITSAP...LEWIS...
PIERCE...THURSTON." Sorry about the all caps, that's just the format they send it in.

The first is part of the report from WSDOT's weather forecasting service, the second is straight from the National Weather Service. We use this service, along with the National Weather Service, to decide how we are going to get ready for the upcoming storms. For the past few days, we've been out clearing off drains, see photos, and sucking out leaves and other debris. They do this in a number of ways...by hand, with rakes, other tools, and with a big, vacuum-like truck. The truck's pretty cool....but most importantly, it really helps keep the water from pooling on the roads.

We are watching the river levels closely. One thing we are concerned about is some possible slides and our crews will be keeping a very close eye on areas along US 101. We'll be out talking to the media types to get you the latest. You should also keep an eye on our Travel Alerts pages if you live or travel out in those area.

So far, the forecasts say this rain should pass us Saturday - but stay tuned.