Updated Monday at 3:30 a.m.
Rain has fallen on 6 out of the past 7 days in Western Washington. Shelton, Sea-Tac, Bellingham, Bremerton, Tacoma, and Olympia have all received over an inch of rain these past 7 days. Before this daily deluge, Seattle was at a rain deficit for the month. Now with heavy rain falling this morning and more on the way through Tuesday, we will likely end March with a monthly rainfall that is right on average.
The widespread, heavy rain across the Puget Sound this morning is from a strong cold front that will make headway into eastern Washington today. The heaviest rain will slowly ease throughout the day but any afternoon sunshine will only lead to the development of lowland thunder showers. Dangerous lightning as well as small hail are the primary concerns with any thunderstorms that develop in the afternoon instability behind the front.
Essential travel over the Cascade Passes will be severely hindered by heavy snow and strong winds today. While the Northern Cascades, including Mt Baker, could see as much as 2 feet of snow, the Central Cascade Passes of Stevens and Snoqualmie will make out with close to a foot. Certainly enough snow to cause travel headaches over the passes through Tuesday.
Most will notice the wind today across Western Washington. Winds will easily top 20 mph in Seattle, whereas gusts close to 40 mph will be measured across the San Juan Islands and immediate coastal communities.
Scattered showers and a few more afternoon thunderstorms will develop on Tuesday. Heaviest rain can be expected during the afternoon, and any thunder showers will be capable of lightning, small hail, and a brief downpour.
Lighter rain showers will linger on the first of April as the parent low pressure from this wet, windy storm is slow to exit the region. Typical sun showers will pop up each afternoon on Thursday and Friday with more sun on the way for the upcoming weekend.
Meteorologist Kristin Clark
KOMO 4cast Team
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