Winds on Thursday afternoon were a lot less intense than early predictions. Meteorologists expect rain each day for the next week.
A windstorm that meteorologists predicted for the Puget Sound Thursday afternoon didn’t materialize, and now area residents can prepare for days of rain.
Josh Smith, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Seattle, said as early-morning weather models refreshed through Thursday, the system with winds appeared much weaker.
“A lot of the models were in agreement that the winds were going to be stronger, but then they just backed off,” Smith said. Because of that, Thursday’s weather was particularly hard to forecast.
The preliminary forecast showed sustained winds of 25 to 40 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph, to hit Pierce County by about 3 p.m., King County about 4 p.m. and shortly after that in Snohomish County and farther north.
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The forecast prompted the National Weather Service to issue a high-wind warning for much of Western Washington.
But the agency lifted the warning for most areas around 5:40 p.m. In the Puget Sound area, winds were only breezy, ranging between 15 and 25 mph, with gusts up to 35 mph, Smith said.
For the week ahead, residents in Seattle and surrounding areas should prepare for a lot of rain, according to the service’s extended outlook.
After the five-day dry stretch over the Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend, nature seems to be returning to a more familiar pattern for the area, with rain — at least in the form of showers — expected each day for the next week.
Meteorologists were expecting a mixture of snow and freezing rain to pepper mountain passes, forming ice up to three-quarters of an inch thick that could create dangerous driving conditions.
The snow level was expected to be between 3,000 and 6,000 feet Thursday, depending on exposure to cold air from the east side of the Cascades.
Drivers headed over the passes should check for updates from the state Department of Transportation (WSDOT).