Fall storms in on Sunday

A “strong but fast moving Pacific storm will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain” on Sunday, just in time for fall.

The National Weather Service issued the statement for much of Western Washington Friday.

Heavy rain and gusts up to 45 mph are anticipated on the coast and in the mountains Sunday.

“Nature’s tree pruners should do some catching up this weekend,” said Metereologist Andy Haner, noting that it is the first such storm since spring. Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon there could be winds of 20 to 30 mph, with gusts up to 40 or 45 mph, as a cold front moves in. Breezy conditions are predicted to continue into Sunday evening, he said.

Snow levels should “plummet to near 6,000 feet behind the cold front Sunday afternoon,” the statement said. Heavy snow is expected above 7,000 feet. One to two inches of rain are expected on the coast and in the Cascades. Up to three inches of precipitation is expected in the Olympics.

Since deciduous trees still have their leaves, the strong winds will increase the risk of snapped tree limbs and brief power outages.

“Hikers and those with other outdoor interests in the mountains should be prepared for a sudden change in the weather and dress accordingly,” the statement said.