WENATCHEE — Strong winds will blow in this afternoon bringing unseasonably high temperatures, heavy rain in some areas and flood and avalanche danger.
The National Weather Service has posted a hazardous weather outlook, high wind warning and flood watch across much of North Central Washington starting late this afternoon through Wednesday morning.
“It’s kind of a modified Pineapple Express and it’s taking aim right across Washington,” said Robin Fox, forecaster. The system is coming in from the Pacific, but farther north than the typical warm snow-melting system from Hawaii known as the “Pineapple Express.” The system will, however, bring warmer temperatures, she said. Highs are expected to rise to the mid 50s Wednesday.
The strong low pressure system will bring fierce winds tonight to the Wenatchee, Chelan, Vantage and Waterville areas, but also Cashmere, Entiat, Quincy and Mansfield. Sustained warm, southwest winds of 20 or 30 mph with gusts up to 60 mph in some areas are expected from 4 p.m. today until 6 a.m. Wednesday.
The weather system is also expected to bring several inches of rain to the crest and east slopes of the Cascades, including Leavenworth and Plain. The Weather Service is calling for 4 to 6 inches of rain tonight over the Cascade Crest and some parts of western Chelan County. Plain and Stehekin could get 2 to 4 inches of precipitation in the next 24 to 36 hours, Fox said. Wenatchee will probably get little rain from the fast moving storm. The snow level will rise to about 5,000 feet.
Increased runoff from rain and melting snow could cause flooding and heavy debris flows in Icicle Creek and other small streams, but isn’t likely to cause flooding on larger rivers, she said.
Temperatures are forecast to return back to normal by Wednesday night with lows around 30 and highs Thursday in the low 40s. Another system is due in Friday bringing snow to higher elevations and rain to the Wenatchee Valley.
Rick Steigmeyer: 664-7151