Pacific Northwest Braces for Rare June Storms Bringing Heavy Rainfall

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Written By Blue & Gold NLR Team

 

 

 

 

As meteorological summer arrives in the Pacific Northwest, residents are preparing for an unexpected return to wintry conditions. A pair of atmospheric river-type storms, unusual for June, are forecasted to sweep through the region, fueled by the remnants of a tropical storm in the western Pacific Ocean.

These storms, tapping into subtropical moisture, have the potential to unleash record-breaking rainfall, with some areas expected to receive a month’s worth of rain in just a few days. The National Weather Service in Seattle humorously referred to the upcoming weather phenomenon as “June-uary.”

The first storm is set to bring waves of heavy rain on Sunday afternoon, intensifying into Sunday night and Monday morning. Following a brief respite, a second atmospheric river storm will arrive on Tuesday, continuing into Wednesday. Both storms have the potential to reach level 4 out of 5 on the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes scale, a rarity for June.

In the Seattle and Puget Sound region, rainfall amounts of 1-2 inches are expected, which is unusual for June, a month that typically sees only 1.45 inches of rain on average. However, heavier rainfall of up to 2-4 inches is forecasted in the Cascades and Olympic Mountains, with isolated areas possibly receiving up to 6 inches.

A rare June Flood Watch has been issued for the greater Puget Sound region, including Seattle, marking only the fourth time such an alert has been issued since June 2006. Rivers and streams may flood, with the Snoqualmie River potentially reaching minor flood stage.

Northwestern Oregon, including Portland, is also bracing for heavy rainfall, with 1-3 inches expected in lowland areas and even more in mountainous regions. Flash flooding and other impacts are anticipated, posing risks to agriculture, road construction projects, and outdoor recreational activities.

Despite the wintry conditions, a rapid shift to hot and dry weather is forecasted for later in the week, signaling a transition from winter-like storms to a summer-like pattern in the Pacific Northwest.

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