Lewis County Expected to Dodge Monday ‘Pineapple Express,’ Which Is Battering Areas to the North


Lewis County appears to have dodged a one-two punch. 

After the region was overwhelmed with heavy rainfall last week, another “Pineapple Express” rain system was due to hit Western Washington on Monday.

Lewis and south Thurston counties weren’t in its path, though. 

Instead, North Puget Sound was forecasted to take the brunt of the warm-rain phenomenon. 

The National Weather Service in Seattle on Monday reported the Twin Cities were due to receive up to an inch of total, 24-hour rainfall, while the North Cascades and the Olympic Peninsula were expected to see several inches of rain. 

“We are, knock on wood, going to hopefully bypass that this time. We put in for a waiver so that we don’t have it, and so far we have that waiver from National Weather Service,” Lewis County Emergency Management Deputy Director Ross McDowell quipped during a meeting with staff and county commissioners on Monday morning. 

That doesn’t mean Lewis County will escape inclement weather entirely, especially when it comes to wind. 

Snow levels were expected to fall from 7,000 feet down to 2,000 feet on Monday evening, and strong winds were forecasted to bring about power outages and downed trees. As of Monday morning, no major outages were reported by Lewis County PUD, though the area was under a wind advisory. 

McDowell said these recent atmospheric river weather systems have been delivering the equivalent of 15 times the water volume of the Mississippi River to the Puget Sound region. 

The City of Mount Vernon, in Skagit County, on Monday declared a state of emergency, and portions of Hamilton, Skagit County, were evacuated as stream flow along the Skagit River was forecasted to hit record-setting levels and cause the worst flooding seen in more than a decade. 

As of Monday press deadline, the Skagit River at Mount Vernon was forecasted to crest into major flooding territory at 37.63 feet -- an all-time record, according to NWS Seattle. The Nooksack River at North Cedarville, Whatcom County, was expected to enter into major flooding Monday afternoon at 150 feet. 

“The second atmospheric river that began Nov. 13 late evening primarily impacted the Skagit River Basin in the North Cascades and the Olympic Peninsula and will continue through Nov. 15. The additional rain, combined with saturated soils, will cause river levels to rise again and exceed flood stage throughout Western Washington,” read a news release from the Army Corps of Engineers Emergency Operations Center. 

Despite all the drab weather, Lewis County is expected to see some sun breaks this week. According to NWS Seattle, Tuesday will see some early morning showers then transition to a mostly sunny afternoon. Wednesday is forecasted to be partly sunny with calm winds, with rain returning to the area by Thursday afternoon.