The Pacific Northwest is getting soaked by an atmospheric river that started streaming into the region a few days ago and doesn't seem to be letting up anytime soon. This huge plume of moisture originating over the Pacific has been dumping rounds of heavy rainfall and up to feet of snow in the higher elevations, with meteorologists warning the wet weather will likely continue through next week.
Residents across parts of Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Idaho and Western Montana have been experiencing almost non-stop rain since Sunday. According to weather models, some coastal areas could see up to 8 inches of rainfall by midweek, with isolated locations getting as much as 18 inches. That's a whole lot of water coming down hard and fast.
One can imagine the amount of non-stop precipitation causing ground problems.
There have already been reports all over the Northwest this weekend of flooded roads, mudslides covering highways, and travel delays from snow in mountain passes - that sort of disruption these extreme weather events tend to cause. And with more heavy rain expected through Wednesday, conditions may worsen in areas already saturated.
It’s easy to feel empathy for those residents who probably just finished cleaning up after the last storm and now have to sandbag their houses again and shovel even more snow. Northwest winters can be rough with all the precipitation, but getting an atmospheric river parked on top of you for almost a week straight is next-level crazy weather.
Everyone hopes drier days come soon for the Northwest so residents and road crews can recover, but it looks like nature will continue dumping water for a while longer. In the meantime, it’s probably best to stay put indoors until this atmospheric river moves along to drench some other parts of the country.