Record rainfall possible this weekend in Washington

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A series of storms will sweep across most of Washington this weekend and could bring record-breaking rainfall and possible flooding, according to the National Weather Service on Saturday.

Forecasters issued a special weather statement also warning that power outages might occur due to high winds.

Heavy rains could dump 4 to 8 inches in the mountains and up to 3 inches elsewhere by Monday. The rain could push some rivers to flood stage by early next week.

Heavy rain and gusty winds are forecast across Southeast Washington and Northeast Oregon. The heaviest rain will be over the Cascades and Blue Mountains.

Southwest winds were expected to increase Saturday, with wind advisories in effect for some locations through Sunday.

A low-pressure system will continue to bring heavy rain and strong winds to the region into Monday morning.

Over the mountains will be several inches of rainfall with strong winds especially Saturday night with gusts 30 to 50 mph possible.

Record rainfall could drop Saturday at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Saturday’s daily record of 0.83 inches was set in 1988. Sunday’s daily record was set in 1951 at 0.92 inches.

“I think it’s likely we’ll break Saturday’s record,” Weather Service meteorologist John Smith said. “Sunday will be close.”

Forecasters said 1½ inches could fall in the lowlands Saturday. Sunday will bring just under an inch.

Although it has been a rainier than usual September, the Weather Service said it’s unlikely to be the wettest September on record. It could rank as high as the third.

By midnight Thursday, a little more than 3 inches of rain had accumulated this month. September’s monthly record is 5.96 inches, set in 1978.

“It’s definitely way above average,” Smith said.

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