Storms are lining up over the northern Pacific, en route to the northwestern United States and British Columbia. One of the storms next week will be associated with Ana.
The first substantial train of storms of the winter season is on track to impact the Northwest this week into next week.
The storms will bring rounds of drenching rain, gusty wind and powerful waves to coastal areas from northern California to Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.
One substantial storm will affect the area into Thursday. This storm has already produced wind gusts to 66 mph along the Oregon coast.
Another storm this weekend could produce even stronger wind gusts along the coast. Winds can be powerful enough to down tree limbs or loosely-rooted trees. Any time trees limbs come down there is the potential for sporadic power outages and blocked roads.
According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bernie Rayno, “Each of the storms will bring heavy rain to coastal areas, which can be enough to cause flash flooding and mudslides.”
A general 3 to 6 inches (75 to 150 millimeters) of rain can fall along the immediate coast, but locally higher amounts are possible in the eastern slopes of the coastal ranges, including the Olympic Mountains in northwestern Washington state.
While the rain will be less intense to the lee of the coastal ranges, enough can fall to slow travel at times along the Interstate-5 corridor from Redding, California, to Portland, Oregon, and Seattle. Rain will soak Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Some rain may even reach far enough south to affect the World Series games in San Francisco.
Some of the rain will reach and may benefit hard-hit drought areas of northern California and southern Oregon.
More sporadic and less intense rainfall will push farther south in California, but not to the extent to have significant impact on the long-term exceptional drought just yet.
Meanwhile, Ana continues to track over the central Pacific Ocean, west of Hawaii.
As this system curves around over colder waters farther north later this week into the weekend, it will lose its tropical characteristics and may be absorbed by another storm. However, it will not completely fade away.
According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity, “Some of the heavy rain and strong winds from Ana may survive right to the coast of the Northwest.”
“That system may then plow onshore during early next week,” he said.
The center of Ana could hit anywhere from the northern coast of British Columbia to western Washington or northwestern Oregon, but the impact from heavy rain and gusty winds may far-reaching and significant. This especially true after some areas are hit with 10 inches of rain (250 millimeters) prior to Ana’s arrival.
As a result the risk of flash flooding, mudslides and downed trees will continue well into next week.
Large swells will be carried along by Ana and will crash along the coast next week.