UPDATE: Biggest waves, strongest winds coming as darkness falls
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In this photo taken by the Quileute tribe, workers with Bruch and Bruch Construction of Port Angeles and the Army Corps of Engineers scurry to place protective rock called rip rap along the LaPush waterfront Friday. James Island is at left.

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As mostly forecast yesterday, the biggest ocean waves, strongest winds along the Pacific coast and Admiralty Inlet areas and heaviest rains are coming later today (Saturday). Here's the latest summary for North Olympic Peninsula areas from National Weather Service forecasters:

PACIFIC COAST: The Weather Service has issued a high-surf warning in effect from 3 p.m. today to 6 a.m. Sunday, coinciding with a coastal flood advisory. Large swells of 25 feet to 30 feet are forecast to reach the coast tonight, mainly in the evening hours. The largest breakers will strike around midnight until the predawn hours. Reinforcement rock was installed Friday in the hopes of better protecting LaPush. Farther south, the Weather Service says the Grays Harbor County towns of Ocean Shores and Westport are most at risk of flooding from the high waves.

HIGH WINDS: The Weather Service has canceled its high-wind watch from yesterday, replacing it with a warning that southwest winds between 35 mph and 45 mph — with gusts up to 60 mph — can be expected along the Pacific coast today. Some affected locations will include LaPush and Neah Bay. Power outages are possible. See below for Port Townsend winds.

PORT ANGELES-SEQUIM: Rainy weather will continue with breezy conditions. Heavier rains are forecast for Sunday. Rivers and streams might rise through Sunday but none is expected to spill over its banks.

PORT TOWNSEND: Showers today and rain Sunday will be accompanied by winds with gusts as high as 45 mph (folks hanging 12th Man flags might take caution).

OLYMPICS: Up to 14 inches of snow is expected today and around 1-3 inches Sunday in the Olympic Mountains. Sub-hurricane-force winds of up to 39 mph are expected at Hurricane Ridge, with snow turning to rain Sunday night. Hurricane Ridge Road is open this morning (Saturday), but could close early because of the coming storm. Phone the recording at 360-565-3131 for the most current weather and road conditions before heading up.

CENTURYLINK FIELD: For all you 12th Man fans, the latest forecast for today's 1:30 p.m. kickoff in the playoff game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New Orleans Saints, direct from the Weather Service, is: "Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. High near 50. Breezy, with a southwest wind 26 to 29 mph, with gusts as high as 38 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%." Go, Hawks!

Friday afternoon's report:

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

LAPUSH — Crews contracted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers placed almost 500 tons of large boulders, known as rip rap, along a jetty protecting LaPush from flooding in preparation for 29-foot waves and 65 mph winds predicted starting later today.

The Army Corps Emergency Management Response team has been at the Quileute reservation on the North Olympic Peninsula's Pacific coast since 8 a.m. Firday placing the rip rap along a stretch of a jetty at high risk of breaching during this weekend's storm, Quileute tribal spokeswoman Jackie Jacobs said.

Work was due to be completed by Friday night, Jacobs said.

If a large breach happened at this portion of the jetty, Jacobs said the Quillayute River could break through at high water and create a new route for the river to the Pacific Ocean.

“This will place much of the beach that protects the tribe's village at risk of significant erosion this winter,” Jacobs said in an email Friday.

The jetty, built more than 50 years ago, protects LaPush, the majority of which lies in an area at high risk for flooding during extreme weather events, Jacobs said.

According to National Weather Service forecasters, waves as high 29 feet are expected between 4 p.m. today and 4 a.m. Sunday along the Pacific coast.

Heavy rains expected in Port Angeles, Sequim, Port Townsend and other lowland areas could produce localized flooding, according to the National Weather Service.

A high-wind warning is also in place for the West End from now until about 4 a.m. today, with gusts approaching 65 mph, according to the Weather Service.

Windy conditions are also expected along the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Admiralty Inlet.


Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: January 11. 2014 5:46PM
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