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Batten down the hatches: Huge weekend storm headed towards Pacific Northwest

It’s a good day to stock up on supplies just in case

Cliff Mass

So much intense weather is going to hit us, that I don't know where to start...but let me try.

That’s Cliff Mass, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington and trusted source for all Seattle-area weather predictions. So if he’s having a hard time breaking down exactly what’s coming our way this weekend, then you really know you need to pay attention.

A series of Pacific storms, one of which is what’s left of a typhoon, will start hitting the Pacific Northwest on Wednesday evening as front pushes onshore and brings rain and wind with it. That’ll be followed by another round of low pressure that will push a cold front across the PNW on Thursday and Friday, upping the rain and wind along the coast and mountains. All of that is just the buildup to Saturday when a storm system leftover by Typhoon Songda will bring potentially damaging winds, flooding rain, and coastal flooding.

As Mass puts it, this could be a historically-bad storm.

A true monster storm, potentially as strong as the most powerful storm in NW history (the Columbus Day Storm of 1962) will be approaching our area on Saturday. The UW WRF sea level pressure forecast for 5 AM Saturday morning shows the approaching cyclone. The central pressure is an amazing 961 mb, with an unbelievably strong pressure gradient around it.

Mass says the storm will bring with it 30-50 mph gusts all around Puget Sound and 40-to-45-foot waves along the coast on Sunday.

There’s still a lot of time for the forecast to be altered, depending on where the fronts eventually hit land. No matter what, make sure you’re prepared to deal with a power outage, know your emergency routines, and have the supplies to be self-sufficient for an extended period if needed.