Prepare for a week of cold temperatures

Staff writerDecember 2, 2013 

FOOTHILLS TRAIL BRIDGE CLO

A runner strides along the Foothills Trail as it crosses over the Puyallup River on a former railroad bridge in McMillin, December 2, 2013.

PETER HALEY — Staff photographer Buy Photo

A glimpse of winter-to-come will blow into the South Sound this week, bringing frigid weather and a slim chance of snow as rain and river flooding subside.

Daytime highs will struggle to pass freezing and lows will average 15 to 25 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. Tuesday might be the warmest of the week with a high of 32 but winds clocking in at 16 miles per hour will add a chill.

“We’ll threaten some records,” said Josh Smith, a meteorologist with the Weather Service.

The overnight low for late Monday was predicted to be 26, which would beat a 1994 record for 27 degrees for Dec. 2. However, forecasters thought the temperature wouldn’t drop to 26 until early Tuesday, meaning the 1994 record probably will stand.

The most likely record to be broken is Tuesday’s high, Smith said. Forecasters said it likely won’t reach above 32 degrees, which would break a record set in 1972 for 36 degrees.

The snow level was expected to fall below 500 feet Monday night. Friday will bring a chance of snow with a cold front continuing through the weekend.

Rain from the last storm sent water spilling over the banks of the Puyallup River near Orting and almost caused minor flooding on the Carbon River.

The Puyallup River crested around 10 p.m. Monday at 8,800 cubic feet per second. The flood threshold on parts of the river is 4,500 cubic feet per second. The Carbon River initially was forecast to flood (which happens at 9,800 cfs) but it reached only 6,000 cfs.

“We did see some high waters but in the grand scheme, this was a relatively minor event,” said Tony Fantello of Pierce County Public Works.

Maintenance teams, including engineers, spent most of Monday monitoring the rivers until the waters receded.

Although only 0.18 inches of precipitation were recorded at Sea-Tac Airport since Saturday night, forecasters said the river flooded because of the high amount of rain that fell in Mount Rainier National Park.

The mountains were hit with about 4 inches over the weekend, which drained down into the rivers and pushed water over the riverbanks.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653
Stacia.glenn@thenewstribune.com

COLD WEATHER SAFETY TIPS

  • Insulate exposed pipes to avoid damage once pipes thaw.
  • Clean out gutters.
  • Use salt or other de-icing materials for driveways and walkways.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle with flashlights, batteries, battery jumper cables, tire chains and warm clothing.

Source: Local fire departments

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