Autumn is here: wet, stormy weather will continue, thunderstorms possible

The first fall storm swept through west Washington Friday, bringing more than four inches of rain to parts of the Olympic Peninsula and more than half an inch into the Seattle area by Saturday morning.

After a break that morning, the wet, stormy weather will continue throughout the weekend – including the possibility of thunderstorms in the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. Snow depths are also expected to drop to 6,000 to 7,000 feet, bringing the first mountain snow of the season.

“We had a front breakthrough with heavy rain especially last night, and now we have much cooler air in the air and increased instability,” said NWS meteorologist Jacob DeFlitch. “When we have this increased instability, we worry about potential thunderstorms.”

Winds, which blew up to 63 miles per hour in northern Puget Sound on Friday, will continue to blow sporadically through Saturday before subsiding on Sunday.

The weather service is forecasting an additional quarter to 1 inch of additional rain through Sunday night, with the highest levels on the Olympic Peninsula and South Puget Sound and the Cascade Foothills. The Seattle area can expect up to half an inch of rain through Sunday night.

The heaviest downpours occur during thunderstorms, which can also bring small hailstones in some areas. The radar showed light strikes off the northern Oregon coast as early as Saturday morning, DeFlitch said.

As of Monday, the soaking will subside. “We could have a different system on Wednesday, but not as strong, then next week seems to be a lot drier compared to what we saw this weekend,” said DeFlitch.

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