BELLEVUE, Wash. -- The Washington State Patrol will be out in force Friday as rains return to the morning and afternoon commute after a nearly unbroken string of 80 dry days.
KING 5 Meteorologist Rich Marriott predicts steady rain for the morning commute. That will turn to off-and-on showers in the afternoon, with more rain extended through the weekend. High temps are expected to be in the mid to upper 50s. Latest forecast
Things will stay wet in the lowlands through the weekend, but the mountains are expected to take a pounding with 5 to 10-inches of rain and 3 to 5-inches along the coast. Rivers will rise, but because they are so low now, there shouldn’t be any river flooding, said Marriott.
Urban flooding is another story. Leaves blowing off the trees could block storm drains, leading to standing water in some places. It’s a good idea to check the drains in your neighborhood and make sure they are clear.
Winds could also be a factor – up to 30 mph in some neighborhoods this weekend. They could be even stronger Monday as a system moves in from Vancouver Island. Because of new growth and leaves on trees, that could bring down limbs over roads and on power lines.
State Patrol to watch for aggressive drivers
And the Washington State Patrol is getting prepared. In King County alone, WSP plans to have at least 130 troopers on duty Friday in a 24 hour period, including car, motorcycle and special unmarked units dedicated to nabbing aggressive drivers.
“This is going to be treacherous, both in the morning and at night," said Trooper Jonathan Lever, a nearly 22-year veteran of the state patrol who’s spent years on the eastside.
He’s referring to a number of hot spots such as eastbound I-90 heading downhill toward the interchange with I-405.
Rain always brings more accidents, but Lever said several factors could make make Friday's commute a nightmare. The oily film building up on the roads that, when exposed to moisture, turns slick, and second, drivers are out of practice. There'll be a mix between drivers being cautious and more aggressive drivers who cast any caution to the wind.
“And they’re going to take risks that they shouldn’t take, and that makes for a really bad situation," said Lever.
Remember that if you see a downed power line, you should assume there is still electricity getting to it. Do not touch it.
You can get the latest conditions anytime with the Seattle Weather app.