A Pineapple Express is currently hitting parts of the Pacific Northwest and causing severe flooding and road closures.
Unlike the 2008 movie by the same name, a Pineapple Express “is a narrow region of atmospheric moisture that builds up in the tropical Pacific,” according to NOAA. And it’s causing record-breaking rainfall for Oregon and Washington.
Today is already the 10th-wettest day on record for Seattle as 2.97 inches of rain have already been recorded. And it is the third wettest for the month of February.
As Fox Weather reports, the National Weather Service says that Seattle only averages one day of rainfall over two inches per year. But this year, the city has already seen two days, and we’re only two months in.
And some cities, including Olympia, WA, got hit with over 3 inches and beat a 1972 record. But more records could break because rain is still on the way.
It’s official: Yesterday’s 2.97” of rain made it the 10th-wettest day on record in Seattle. pic.twitter.com/rCLDuXkApb— Seattle Weather Blog (@KSeattleWeather) March 1, 2022
In fact, flood watches remain in effect until Wednesday because of the incoming weather as well as the excessive runoff coming from rivers, creeks, and streams.
Major Roadways Closed in the Pacific Northwest Due to Pineapple Express
Because of the floods, the Washington State Department of Transportation has shut down multiple roadways today, including parts of State Route 7. According to the Associated Press, the Department of Transportation does not know when it will reopen.
And that’s following closures of Stevens Pass and Snoqualmie Pass on Monday due to heavy snowfall that the state thought may lead to avalanches.
Both passes reopened on Monday evening. But because of the melting snow and current Pineapple Express, the city of Snoqualmie is watching the Snoqualmie River.
Meteorologists have issued a flood warning due to its quickly rising levels and forecasted a crest of 58.78 feet by Wednesday.
The saturated ground is even causing landslides in the area.
US 101 in Mason County north of Shelton remains closed in both directions from this slide. Daylight is needed so we can fully see what we’re up against. https://t.co/9lMsVuC1Fg— WSDOT Tacoma (@wsdot_tacoma) March 1, 2022
In Oregon, the weather is most affecting the Cascade Crest and points west and over the Blue Mountains. And the rain was so intense that it caused a rockfall south of Oregon City, Oregon. A tractor-trailer carrying grass seed was damaged during the incent while driving down Route 99E.
Though the weather has mostly made its way through the region, many cities in Oregon will remain under flood watches until the rain completely tapers off later tonight.