Intense Winds Blowing This Way This Disturbance Should Be More Powerful Than The Two That Raked The Region In The Past Two Weeks
Wind gusts up to 55 mph are forecast for tonight as an intense storm moves ashore from the Gulf of Alaska.
The National Weather Service in Spokane issued a special storm warning on Monday.
Forecaster Jim DeBerry said the incoming disturbance should be more powerful than either of the two windstorms that raked the region in the past two weeks.
Sustained winds of 35 to 45 mph are expected.
DeBerry said he expects this storm to exceed the 48-mph gust Spokane experienced on Dec. 4.
Winds of up to 90 mph are forecast for the Pacific coast of Washington and up to 70 mph in the Puget Sound basin.
Power companies were warned to have repair crews on standby in case of widespread power outages, DeBerry said.
The culprit is a deep low-pressure area in the Gulf of Alaska. Air pressure at the center of the storm was one of the lowest readings recorded in the past decade.
Three different computer models used to predict the weather gave a wide range of expected wind speeds in the Inland Northwest. The most conservative model predicted 32-mph winds, and the least conservative model forecast 75-mph winds.
DeBerry said he expects the storm to fall somewhere in the middle of that range.
Temperatures are expected to be above normal for this time of year with lows in the low 30s at night and highs in the upper 30s to 40 degrees.Snow that fell over the weekend was melting Monday, raising the possibility of more flooding in North Idaho, where rivers went over their banks late last month.
The freezing level over Spokane rose to 6,700 feet on Monday morning, but dropped back to 5,800 by the afternoon.