Tired of snow? Rain? Good. Now, we get wind.
We’ve had snow. We’ve had sleet. We’ve had rain.
Now, we get wind. And flooding.
About the only thing left is pestilence, or maybe some fire and brimstone.
“I feel a little like someone trying to scare people, but we just have a lot of weather going on,” said Dennis D’Amico, meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Seattle.
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The weather service issued a wind advisory for most of Western Washington beginning about midnight Friday and continuing until midmorning Saturday, with winds of 20 to 30 mph and gusts up to 45 mph.
The picture the NWS paints is not pretty — slush-heavy branches falling and trees uprooting from the waterlogged soil, among other things.
“Gusty winds may snap tree branches and cause local power outages,” the wind advisory reads.
They must have meant to say “more power outages, since hundreds of thousands have already had power interruptions.”
The winds aren’t unusual for a January storm, D’Amico said. But given the soaked ground and stressed trees, “the potential impacts are much higher for this windstorm.”
Friday was a day to try patience. The Tacoma Narrows Bridge was closed for ice removal, backing up traffic at the Bremerton and Fauntleroy ferry terminals, where the lines swelled with drivers who had to avoid the bridge.
At one point in the early evening, the wait in both directions was two hours.
Syndie Hagardt, a Pierce County employee, crossed the Narrows Bridge in the morning to get to work, which started two hours late. Now she was expecting to wait in the ferry line another couple of hours.
“It was a bad day all around,” she said.
There’s a little good news for Saturday: The wind should lessen around 10 a.m.
And there might even be a little break Saturday afternoon, D’Amico said — a “hole” created by a good westerly air flow toward the Olympics, generating a little rain shadow that could protect us momentarily — until the next system comes in Sunday. With more rain.
If you’re counting, that’s Storm No. 4. The snow we had last weekend? That didn’t count. It was not an “organized, widespread system,” D’Amico said.
The current-and-pending rain volume has generated a flood advisory from the weather service, which says urban and small streams could quickly become overloaded with water as they fill with melted snow and rain.
In other parts of the state, there are flood watches for the Skokomish River in Mason County, the Chehalis River, which begins in Lewis County and drains into Grays Harbor, and its tributary, the Newaukum River, D’Amico said.
The flood advisory, which continues until 3:30 p.m. Saturday, includes most Western Washington counties. The weather service says to expect light to moderate rain, with some heavy rain.
With the melting snow, “expect ponding of water on roads and in neighborhoods,” the weather service said, noting that “stormwater will pool in the snow cover before eventually melting and running off.”
City and county officials have asked residents to help clear debris and snow or ice from storm drains and culverts.
“Do not underestimate the power of floodwaters,” the advisory warns. “Only a few inches of rapidly flowing water can quickly carry away your vehicle.”
Carol M. Ostrom: 206-464-2249 or email@example.com. On Twitter @costrom.