Forecasters expect heavy rains and high winds in the Puget Sound region, and especially on the Washington coast.

Share story

A series of storms will sweep over Western Washington starting Wednesday, bringing heavy rain and strong winds through the weekend. Forecasters are urging people to be prepared for winds that could be “long remembered.”

With the multiple storms, there’s a chance of flooding, including a slight one in the Puget Sound region, and the coast could face serious conditions, according to forecasters.

For the Seattle area, meteorologists are predicting more than three inches of rain between Wednesday night and Sunday, said meteorologist Andy Haner. That’s more than two times the total rainfall measured so far this month (1.31 inches).

Preparation tips for high winds

• Trim tree branches away from homes and power lines.

• Secure loose gutters and shutters.

• Identify an interior room to use as shelter.

• Have emergency supplies ready, such as food and water to last for three days per person in a household.

• Make a list of items outside that must be tied down or put away.

The National Weather Service

[What to do if the power goes out]

“The heaviest rains will be on Thursday and Saturday,” Haner said, days that will also see the strongest winds. “We could see gusts of 40 to 50 mph on Thursday night,” he said.

An alert issued by the National Weather Service Wednesday said there was a one-in-three chance of a severely damaging weather system hitting Western Washington on Saturday.

“This would be a worst case scenario leading to a historical windstorm for nearly all of Western Washington that would be long remembered,” the alert stated.

It’s more likely, however, the storm will pass hundreds of miles off the coast and make landfall over Vancouver Island, according to the weather service. In that scenario, the Seattle region would experience a windstorm that would normally be expected a few times each storm season.

On the coast and in the Olympic Mountains, forecasters say rainfall amounts will be even higher.

Also, they say strong winds will raise sea waves to potentially dangerous heights, increasing the chance of flooding and flying debris.

“I would say conditions out on the beach could very well be life-threatening,” Haner said, considering how big the waves will be. People traveling to the area should be cautious, he said, and check the service’s forecast frequently.

[Columbus Day Storm of 1962 was spawned by similar typhoon now looming over Pacific]

The possibility of flooding extends to inland water coastlines, including the Puget Sound region, he said. Compared to the coast, though, the chance there is relatively low.

Further details will become available later in the week, Haner said.

The expected storms are not an unprecedented weather pattern for this time of year, Haner said, though their high frequency is somewhat unusual.

“It’s usually right around October we get into the storm season,” he said. “And it’s only every so often that we get the stretch of storms that we’re forecasting this early in the season.”

For updated weather information, follow the National Weather Service in Seattle’s Twitter account, @NWSSeattle. Or, check the agency’s website at