So far in 2017, we have yet to make it above freezing! Twelve out of the 16 days of January have had snow!
A warming trend is on the way, but that could lead to localized flooding. Temperatures by Wednesday and Thursday will climb into the low to mid 40s, but rain is also on the way.
Precipitation amounts through Thursday will range from one quarter to three quarters of an inch over the lower Columbia Basin and Yakima Valley. Expect 1 to 2 inches with locally as much as 3 inches in the northern Blues. The Eastern Slopes could pick up 2 to 4 inches of precipitation by Thursday evening.
Combine these amounts with the warmer temperatures and high snow levels, there will be flooding concerns. Much of the rain should initially be abosored within the snow pack, but eventually this will begin to melt. This rain on snow scenario will add addtional weight to already stressed buildings and roofs.
The potential impacts from the snowmelt and rainfall runoff include ponding of water where storm drains or ditches are clogged with snow and ice, ponding of water in low lying areas with poor drainage or frozen ground, and possible ice jams on small creeks and rivers that have frozen over.
While no major river flooding is forecast at this time, this is an evolving forecast and should be monitored regularly for updates.
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