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Barrage of storms to aim for British Columbia, northwestern US this week

Bouts of rain and strong winds will be common across British Columbia and the northwestern United States as storms roll in one after another this week.

The Northwest will turn stormy with a powerful jet stream setting up across the North Pacific this week, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jack Boston.

The jet stream is a stream of fast-moving air high in the atmosphere that guides storms.

On average, a new storm with a resurgence of rain and strong winds will arrive on the coasts of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest every 24 hours into the weekend.

North Pacific Storm Parade 10.15 AM

“Each storm looks to be stronger as the week progresses,” Boston said.

As the unsettled pattern gets into full swing this week, rainfall will become heavier and winds will become more fierce with each storm. Highway travel and airline delays will mount.

The first bout of wind-swept rain arriving across British Columbia on Monday will drop into Washington on Tuesday. A second storm will sweep through these areas again on Wednesday, followed by a third resurgence of stormy weather at late week.

The bulk of the rain and wind will pummel coastal areas. As a result, this is where the greatest risk of localized flash flooding, sporadic power outages and tree damage can occur.

The risk of flash and river flooding will be heightened through the week as more rain falls over increasingly saturated soil.

The rain will be beneficial to the region as much of the Pacific Northwest is contending with moderate drought. More severe drought conditions are occurring in Montana, but this area will be on the low receiving end of precipitation.

Pac NW Rain 10.16 AM

“Much less precipitation will fall east of the Cascade Mountains, but there will be the potential for strong, gusty winds,” Boston said.

Winds will whip fiercely across the interior Northwest and into Montana from Tuesday to Wednesday, enough so that localized damage and power outages are possible.

The late-week storm will spread moisture the farthest inland and southward, including into Northern California, as well as deliver the chilliest air of the week.

Snow levels may fall to major mountain pass levels, including I-90’s Snoqualmie Pass.

“The stormy pattern will generally quiet down next week as the storm track shifts farther north,” Boston said. “However, northwestern Washington could still get clipped by a storm or two.”

Northwestern United States residents should prepare for an active stormy season as AccuWeather long-range meteorologists expect the region to experience above-normal precipitation, including abundant snowfall, this winter.