Atmospheric river arrives Saturday, some moderate flooding expected – News Nation USA

Another atmospheric river is arriving Saturday night after it was mainly dry earlier in the day. Moderate flooding is also forecast for the Skagit, Snoqualmie and Cowlitz rivers into Saturday.

What happened to Seattle’s ‘Pineapple Express?’ Enter, the ‘atmospheric river’

With the atmospheric river arriving Saturday night through Monday morning, it looks to be aimed toward the northern third of the area.

However, there will be rain around even farther south from the heaviest rainfall areas.

Highs will again be mild, well into the upper 50s.

The next batch of rain will produce 2-3 inches of lowland rain across the San Juans, Whatcom and Skagit counties, as well as at the coast.

Farther south, there will be an Olympic Mountain rain shadow reducing rainfall totals around Everett down to near Seattle. Even parts of King County could see 1-2 inches of rain Saturday night through Monday morning.

The rivers across the area will spike up again, but the greatest rainfall will likely be in the North Cascades with 4-6 inches of rain.

For that, the Skagit River at Mount Vernon will likely reach major flood stage Monday and Tuesday.

The other river systems farther south will rise, but should not approach the crests seen or that will mean the current system is moving out.

Heavy rain expected throughout weekend, with flood watch for most rivers in effect


Flooding continued into Saturday with some water getting onto roadways and causing closures and delays. On Saturday afternoon, the right lane of westbound SR 18 near SR 167 closed due to water on the road.

On SR 18 westbound at SR 167 the right lane is closed due to water over the roadway.

— WSDOT Traffic (@wsdot_traffic) November 13, 2021

Skagit County

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are helping with local flood fighting efforts and has activated its Emergency Operations Center.

Skagit County officials issued a warning to residents saying flooding is expected. However, further flooding reaching a major flood stage will occur early next week, after the second round of rain.

An Army Corps team began work on Thursday to repair an eroding segment of a Skagit River levee near Lions Park in Mount Vernon.

The county said people who live in Hamilton, Lyman, Concrete and other flood-prone areas should prepare to protect their homes, families, and livestock from floodwaters. Anyone with questions or who needs sandbags can call the Skagit County Department of Emergency Management at 360-416-1850.

Skagit County residents should also expect water over low-lying roads, particularly Swan Road, Whitmarsh Road in Burlington, Martin Road in Rockport and potentially Cape Horn.

Officials with King County Roads want drivers to reroute around the Snoqualmie Valley, where roads could be flooded and there’s a high risk of landslides. The Tolt and Snoqualmie river basins are always first to flood.

The county said Redmond-Fall City and Woodinville-Duvall roads are particularly prone to standing water.

Drivers are warned not to drive through water on roads as it can be deeper and faster moving than it appears. Most flooding deaths happen in cars, officials said.

You can keep track of the rivers in your area here.

Next week outlook

The atmospheric river comes to an end Monday morning as a strong cold front moves into the area. This will bring lower snow levels to the Cascades and we could see some snow back to the passes Monday night into Tuesday.

The great news is that we have an extended (albeit cold) break, from Wednesday through at least the end of next week. Highs will be hard-pressed to get to the mid-40s in the lowlands, with lows in the 20s and 30s.

We could see some of the coldest temperatures of the season Wednesday and Thursday mornings with widespread frost and some freezing temperatures.

By Chief Meteorologist Morgan Palmer, KIRO 7 News