A 'Bomb Cyclone' of Rain, Wind Is Headed to Western Washington Area

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An especially strong jet stream over the Pacific Ocean is spinning off a series of weather systems, including a massive "bomb cyclone," that will keep us wet through the rest of next week, local meteorologists said.

Joe Boomgard-Zagrodnik, an agricultural meteorologist for Washington State University, said each of the systems off the coast will have its own front and its own center. Though for many, it could just feel like continuous fall rain, he said.

This one, the first in the series, will remain off the coast as it heads north. It will bring rain to most of Western Washington and gusty winds that could reach up to 40 mph along the northern interior waterway, said Mary Butwin of the National Weather Service in Seattle.

"What is remarkable is how big it is in scale, how deep the center is and the speed with which it goes from an open wave to a super intense low pressure system," Boomgard-Zagrodnik said. "Meaning it seems to explode out of nowhere."

This "massive system" has the classic comma shape of a cyclone, a very low pressure middle and "frontal bands spiraling out hundreds of miles from the center," he said.

Some regions further inland may experience a short break in the rain between the first and second system, expected to arrive Thursday, but most along the coast will not, Butwin said.

The second system should last through the weekend with a chance of thunder Friday and lingering showers, she said.

The third system, which is expected to arrive on Monday, is likely to be "the same story," Butwin said. But the fourth, expected Tuesday or Wednesday, could bring the snow level lower, allowing snow accumulation in the mountains, she said.