The first day of November brought a lot of rain, a little wind and a stern reminder that the storm season has just begun in the Northwest.
As of 4 p.m. Monday, Olympia had received nearly 1.37 inches of rainfall, 0.16 inches shy of the daily record, National Weather Service meteorologist Johnny Burg said.
November is historically the wettest month of the year for Olympia, averaging 8.26 inches of rainfall, according to the weather service.
The strong frontal system that brought Monday’s storm is normal for this time of the year, Burg said.
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“This is what brings in the heavy rains and a little bit of wind,” he said. “This is the kind of stuff we get starting at this time of the year.”
The rain set a record at Sea-Tac Airport, reaching 1.45 inches by 3 p.m. The record of 1.06 inches for Nov. 1 was set in 1984.
In October, the area received about 2 inches more rainfall than average, Burg added.
November may be the wettest month for Olympia, but it has stiff competition from the winter months. December averages 8.15 inches of rainfall, with January averaging 8.02 inches.
The southern slopes of the Olympics were hit hard by the storm, where 3 inches of rain fell before 10 a.m. Monday. Another inch of rain was expected to fall throughout the day, according to the weather service.
As a result, a flood warning is in effect until this morning for the Skokomish River in Mason County near Potlatch. The river was expected to rise above flood stage and crest Monday evening, causing widespread flooding of pasture lands and several major roadways. A flood watch, meaning flooding conditions are favorable but not imminent, is in effect until this morning on the Satsop River in Grays Harbor County.
Public works departments across the county also responded to clogged catch basins and storm drains. However, the call volume and type seen Monday were routine for this time of the year, county public works director Lester Olson said.
The nasty weather also put the brakes on construction on Yelm Highway for the day, according to the county.
The City of Olympia is asking residents to help minimize urban flooding. The city has more than 6,300 storm drains and is suggesting residents use garden rakes and shovels to remove leaves from storm drains. The city also advises its residents not to rake leaves into the streets but rather put them into a compost pile or into their organics cart.
After morning showers today, weather is forecast to be partly sunny and mostly dry into Thursday night, when the next system with rain arrives, Burg said.