A wind-fueled storm blowing through Western Washington on Tuesday bumped the region over its normal rainfall for the year and prompted flood and wind advisories across the state.
By midmorning, Sea-Tac Airport registered 37.63 inches of rain for 2015, moving just above the normal annual rainfall of 37.49 inches, with 23 days left in the year.
Forecasters said 2-3 inches could fall Tuesday, which heightened concern about already swollen rivers topping their banks because of rain melting recent snowfall.
By 6 a.m. Tuesday, 0.62 inches had fallen in Seattle. If that number triples by the end of the day, as forecasters predicted, it would shatter a daily precipitation record of 1.61 inches set in 1981.
Monday’s 1.08 inches of rain at Sea-Tac Airport shattered the old record for the date, which was set in 1968 at 0.88 inches.
The mountains on Tuesday could receive 4-6 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service.
Mount Rainier National Park reported a 20-inch drop in its snowpack thanks to recent rains, bringing it to 43 inches. Paradise’s snowplay area doesn’t open until snow is 63 inches deep. It did not open last year.
Steady rain stays in the forecast through Sunday.
Snow levels were expected to climb to 8,000 feet later Tuesday, and the Northwest Avalanche Center warned of high avalanche danger in the Cascade and Olympic mountains.
A wind advisory warning of strong winds gusting up to 50 miles per hour was in effect through mid-afternoon.
Some high winds recorded Tuesday: White Pass, 99 mph; Crystal Mountain, 93 mph; Mount Baker, 60 mph; and Hoquiam, 44.
A flood watch for most of Western Washington remained through Wednesday (Dec. 9).
“We have a lot of major flooding in the forecast,” said Josh Smith, a Weather Service meteorologist in Seattle.
“This amount of rain will put extra pressure on steep slopes… leading to an increased threat of landslides,” the advisory reads.
A landslide near Edmonds was discovered Monday and led to the cancellation of Sounder and Amtrak trains running between Seattle and Everett. Service was expected to resume Thursday morning.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653