November 19, 2012 at 7:54 AM
UPDATE: 1.49 inches of rain breaks record for date at Sea-Tac
UPDATE: 11:45 a.m. | With several more hours of rain expected Monday, Seattle-Tacoma Interational Airport has already broken a 50-year-old record for the date.
Kirby Cook of the Weather Service said that by 11:30 a.m., Sea-Tac had 1.49 inches of rain since midnight. The previous record for November 19 was 1.23 inches, set in 1962.
UPDATE: 10:45 a.m. | Between midnight and 10 a.m. today, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport had 1.43 inches of rain and at NOAA’s facility at Sand Point on Lake Washington, 1.29 inches fell in that time .
UPDATE: 9:00 a.m. | The North Cascade Highway will close at 6 p.m. Monday, possibly for the winter, because of avalanche danger. WSDOT officials said they’ll wait until after this week’s series of storms to decide whether to reopen the highway.
Original post: Heavy rains that put many low-lying sections of roadway underwater around the Puget Sound area early Monday are expected to continue through the day, and a succession of storms will keep the area soggy all week, according to the Weather Service.
“We have a lot of urban and small-stream flooding,” said Art Gaebel of the Weather Service said morning. “This is going to be going on all day long.”
Between midnight and 7 a.m., Seattle-Tacoma International Airport had .85 inches of rain. West of Puget Sound, rainfall totals since midnight topped 1.5 inches in Bremerton, Shelton and Gig Harbor, according to the Weather Service.
A “special weather statement” issued at 4 a.m. today said the lowland areas of Western Washington could see up to 2.5 inches of rain Monday, carrying the potential for mudslides. Mountain areas could get up to 5 inches of rain Monday.
Monday’s front is likely to bring the heaviest rainfall before Thanksgiving, especially in Southwestern Washington. The storm will also deliver a significant amount of snow to the mountains.
If the forecast holds and freezing levels remain low enough, Mount Baker Ski Area is aiming for a limited opening Wednesday. The outlook for the state’s other ski areas is iffier, said University of Washington meteorologist Cliff Mass.
“It’s very doubtful at Stevens,” Mass said Sunday. “At Crystal, there’s a chance.” Snoqualmie Pass, at an elevation of 3,022 feet, is likely to see more rain than snow.
Lowland temperatures over the next several days will range between the mid-40s at night to the mid-50s during the day.
A National Weather Service winter-storm warning for the Cascades estimates the possibility of 9 to 30 inches of snow above 4,500 feet. But the freezing level is expected to rise to 5,000 feet later on Monday.
“The mountains will keep getting pounded with snow at higher elevations and a mix of snow, rain and freezing rain at times in the main passes,” according to the weather service’s forecast discussion.
A brief respite from the rain is likely early on Tuesday before another system moves in, with rain continuing through Wednesday morning. Thanksgiving Day could bring another break, with showers instead of steady rain. By Thursday evening, the rain should be back, Mass said.
Seattle Times staff reporter Sandi Doughton contributed to this report.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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