Flood watch issued for much of Western Washington, including Pierce, Thurston counties

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for much of Western Washington, including Pierce and Thurston counties.

The Weather Service’s Seattle office notes that a warm front is expected to bring heavy rain to the region beginning Saturday night, with the heaviest precipitation expected Sunday night through Monday morning. From 3 to 7 inches of rain or snow is expected in the Cascades and from 2 to 6 inches in the Olympics, the agency said, raising the odds of rivers approaching flood stage.

The flood watch coincides with a winter weather advisory for the Cascade Range. From 6 to 15 inches of snow could fall on the passes from Sunday morning to Sunday evening before the snow turns to rain, the Weather Service said.

The rivers facing the greatest threat of flooding include the Puyallup River near Orting in East Pierce County. To the north, the Stillaguamish, Skykomish, Snoqualmie, Tolt and Snohomish rivers could be threatened, along with portions of the Cowlitz River to the south. The flood watch also covers Skagit, Whatcom, King, Lewis, Mason and Snohomish counties.

A flood watch does not mean flooding is imminent or in progress; rather, it’s a warning that conditions are favorable for flooding and that residents should monitor the latest forecasts and be ready to act quickly.