Rough West End weather; mountain avalanches possible
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forkswa.com
The surf churns this morning at First Beach near LaPush in this photo taken from the Forks Chamber of Commerce webcam.

The current storm bringing rain to lower elevations of the Olympic Peninsula and snow in the mountains is especially stirring things up on the West End coast.

In its all-capital letters and three-dot style, here are current warnings from the National Weather Service:

Wind Advisory
URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEATTLE WA
935 AM PST FRI FEB 22 2013

.A VIGOROUS FRONTAL SYSTEM WILL BRING WINDY CONDITIONS TO THE
COAST AND NORTH INTERIOR TODAY.

...WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 PM PST THIS
AFTERNOON...

* AFFECTED AREA: NORTH AND CENTRAL COAST.

* WINDS: SOUTH WIND 25 TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 50 MPH WILL SHIFT
TO WEST AND DIMINISH DURING THE AFTERNOON HOURS.

* TIMING: HIGHEST WINDS WILL OCCUR LATE THIS MORNING THROUGH EARLY
THIS AFTERNOON.

* IMPACTS: WINDS THIS STRONG CAN BREAK SMALL TREE BRANCHES AND
CAUSE LOCAL POWER OUTAGES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WIND ADVISORY IS ISSUED WHEN SUSTAINED WINDS OF 30 TO 39 MPH OR
GUSTS OF 45 TO 57 MPH ARE LIKELY.

High Surf Advisory

COASTAL HAZARD MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEATTLE WA
250 AM PST FRI FEB 22 2013

.OCEAN SWELL OF 21 TO 24 FEET AT 16 SECONDS WILL MOVE TOWARD THE
COAST ON SATURDAY MORNING. ONCE OCEAN SWELL REACHES THE SURF
ZONE...THE RESULT WILL BE POWERFUL BREAKERS OF 25 TO 29 FEET.

...HIGH SURF ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 2 AM TO NOON PST SATURDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SEATTLE HAS ISSUED A HIGH SURF
ADVISORY...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 2 AM TO NOON PST SATURDAY.

* HAZARD...HIGH SURF WILL DEVELOP ALONG THE WASHINGTON COAST
TONIGHT AND SATURDAY MORNING. LARGE BREAKERS OF 25 TO 29 FEET
ARE EXPECTED IN THE SURF ZONE.

* TIMING...THE MOST POWERFUL WAVES WILL IMPACT THE COAST ON
SATURDAY MORNING.

* IMPACTS...SUCH LARGE BREAKERS WILL CAUSE SUDDEN AND FAST BEACH
RUN-UPS. WAVES THIS POWERFUL CAN WASH UP A BEACH FASTER THAN A
PERSON CAN RUN.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

IT IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS TO FISH OR OBSERVE WAVES FROM ROCKS
DURING HIGH SURF CONDITIONS. UNWARY BEACH WALKERS CAN BE CAUGHT
OFF GUARD AS WAVES SUDDENLY RACE FARTHER UP THE BEACH THAN NORMAL.

A HIGH SURF ADVISORY MEANS THAT HIGH SURF WILL AFFECT BEACHES IN
THE ADVISORY AREA...PRODUCING RIP CURRENTS AND LOCALIZED BEACH
EROSION.


Avalanche Warning

...AVALANCHE WARNING IN EFFECT FRIDAY THRU SATURDAY MORNING FOR THE
OLYMPICS... WASHINGTON CASCADES NEAR AND WEST OF THE CREST... AND MT
HOOD AREA...

A STRONG PACIFIC FRONTAL SYSTEM IS BRINGING VERY STRONG WINDS AND
INCREASING SNOW AT GRADUALLY RISING FREEZING LEVELS OVER THE
MOUNTAINS OF THE PNW FRIDAY. SNOWFALL AMOUNTS OF 1-2 FEET ARE LIKELY
AND COMBINED WITH THE SLIGHT WARMING TEMPERATURES AND STRONG WINDS,
THIS SHOULD LEAD TO WIDESPREAD NATURAL AVALANCHES BY LATER FRIDAY.
THIS NEW WIND DRIVEN DENSER STORM SNOW WILL OVERLIE AN ARRAY OF
EXISTING WEAK NEAR SURFACE SNOW LAYERS MAKING FOR SOME VERY
SENSITIVE AND VERY DANGEROUS AVALANCHE CONDITIONS BY LATER FRIDAY.

TRAVEL IN AVALANCHE TERRAIN IS NOT RECOMMENDED FRIDAY AND FRIDAY
NIGHT.

ALTHOUGH WARNING CONDITIONS ARE NOT CURRENTLY FORECASTED ALONG THE
CASCADE EAST SLOPES DUE TO A LITTLE LESS EXPECTED SNOWFALL...A
STRONG INCREASE IN THE DANGER IS LIKELY IN THAT AREA AS WELL.

THIS STATEMENT WILL BE UPDATED AS WARRANTED. PLEASE VISIT
WWW.NWAC.US FOR HOURLY WEATHER DATA AND FORECAST DETAILS.

BACKCOUNTRY TRAVELERS SHOULD BE AWARE THAT ELEVATION AND GEOGRAPHIC
DISTINCTIONS ARE APPROXIMATE AND THAT A TRANSITION ZONE BETWEEN
DANGERS EXISTS. REMEMBER THERE ARE AVALANCHE SAFE AREAS IN THE
MOUNTAINS DURING ALL LEVELS OF AVALANCHE DANGER.

Last modified: February 22. 2013 10:45AM
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