February 21, 2013 at 8:19 AM
Wind, heavy rain heading to Western Washington on Friday
A wild, wet and windy Friday is in store for Western Washington, driven by a weather system that could bring an inch or two of rain in the lowlands and up to two feet of snow in the mountains by Saturday morning.
The storm could hit in time to impact the Friday morning commute.
“It will be kind of breezy all day and pick up as the day goes on,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Gary Schneider.
Gusts in the Seattle area could hit 40 mph Friday, with sustained winds between 15 and 30 mph. On the coast, gusts of up to 50 mph are forecast.
Drivers headed over the Cascades Friday are advised to expect difficult conditions, carry an extra flashlight, food, water and blankets in case of an emergency.
The snow level, at about 2,000 feet today, is expected to rise to about 3,000 feet on Friday then dip below 1,500 feet Friday night. That could produce snow in some of the higher foothills, Schneider said, but for the most part, there’s little chance of snow in the Puget Sound area, as lows could stay in the upper 30s – a couple degrees higher than normal for this time of year.
The weather service has also issued an “avalanche watch,” saying that back-country travel is not recommended Friday on avalanche-prone areas on the western slopes of the Cascades.
The weather is expected to calm down over the weekend, with a chance of rain Saturday and Sunday, but a series of storms is expected about every other day through next week.
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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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