More Significant Moisture in the Forecast for the West Coast Starting on Sunday

Posted: October 28, 2022 9:33 am

It has been a wet and chilly week for the Pacific Northwest, standing in direct contrast to the unseasonably warm and dry start to the autumn season. Forecasters are warning that this dreary weather is set to continue for the foreseeable future thanks to a parade of storms moving into the region from the Pacific Ocean.

Storm After Storm Moving Into the Northwest

A potent storm is brewing in the Pacific Ocean, taking aim at the Northwest. The storm is forecast to hit the region by Sunday, ushering in a steady rainfall that is heavy at times. While the rain will wreak havoc on outdoor plans up and down the coastal areas and farther inland, the precipitation is good news for this part of the drought-stricken West Coast.

According to the latest report from the U.S. Drought Monitor, the entirety of the state of Washington and over 99% of Oregon is under the designation of at least “abnormally dry.” The heaviest of the rain is predicted to hammer the Olympic Peninsula area of Washington. While snow will fall in the higher terrains of this peninsula, it is not a heavily populated area that will be impacted to a great degree.

The well-traveled mountain passes of the Cascades should not see any issues with this system. However, the next few storms may bring the snow level down farther.

The parade of storms is predicted to continue through the first week of November. The mountains of Washington and Oregon could see up to 10 feet of snow during this time period, helping to provide a good base snowpack for the upcoming ski season.

The persistent rain showers will certainly raise the threat of flooding in this corner of the country. In addition to the heavy rain forecast for Washington on Sunday, the Evergreen State will also see more measurable moisture on Monday just in time for the Halloween holiday.

Washington may see a short break from the rain and snow on Tuesday and Wednesday as the mass of moisture moves to the south. This will put Oregon and Northern California in the primary impact zone beginning Tuesday.

Southward Dip in Jet Stream Will Push Moisture in That Direction

California is also dealing with dryness with over 40% of the state under the category of an extreme drought. The jet stream is forecast to dip southward, bringing the snow and rain to parts of Central California by Wednesday and Thursday.

This movement of the jet stream will also contribute to falling temperatures. The surge of moisture will pair with the colder temperature readings to potentially deliver the first significant snowfall of the season for the Sierra Nevada.

The forecast becomes a little less clear after next Wednesday. Some models show the moisture moving to the east into the central Rocky Mountains. Another model predicts an even deeper dip in the jet stream, bringing the heavy rains and mountain snow to Southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico. This track could bring much-needed moisture to Los Angeles and San Diego.

Arizona and New Mexico were the beneficiaries of the strong North American monsoon season this year. However, much of the Desert Southwest is still in dire need of more rain heading into the dry winter months.

The rest of the West Coast typically sees its wettest weather during the winter, meaning that this precipitation is just the beginning of what lies ahead. Forecasters warn that there is still a chance that the jet stream could retreat northward by the middle of next week. Should this happen, the train of storms will die out over the Northwest.

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