Atmospheric River On Track To Slam The Pacific Northwest

Silhouette of a man carrying umbrella walking in downtown city street against the reflection of glowing neon lights and city buildings in heavy rain at night

Photo: Getty Images

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, brace yourselves. Weather experts say an atmospheric river from the Pacific Ocean is coming to the area this week.

Starting Wednesday evening (November 10), Western Washington and Oregon will get battered with heavy rain and strong winds through Friday (November 12). Over the next couple of days, most of the Puget Sound region may see two to three inches, according to the National Weather Service. KATU reports that the Portland metro area and valleys could get one to three.

"Once the rain starts, it just keeps coming,” KATU Meteorologist Dave Salesky says.

Other areas of Washington, including the Cascades and Olympia, may get hit with five inches of rainfall. Reporters in the Portland area warned of rivers and waterways potentially flooding, including the Wilson, Nehalem, Dee, and Johnson Creek. NWS Seattle was also concerned about potential landslides from the mountain snow and incoming rain.

Other areas on the West Coast are expected to get struck by this weather event, including California.

An atmospheric river is a long, narrow area of the atmosphere that carries a lot of water vapor, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

"These columns of vapor move with the weather, carrying an amount of water vapor roughly equivalent to the average flow of water at the mouth of the Mississippi River," as The Seattle Times described.

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