LONG BEACH — A lineup of rain-packed storms is making its way across the North Pacific and will be drenching the coast between Northern California and southern British Columbia over the next week.

"Through Friday, the most impactful weather across the West will remain focused on Washington state, where rain will continue to soak coastal areas, while snow levels lower in the mountains," AccuWeather said on Jan. 2. The main storm track is then expected to shift to the south for a day or two, before again becoming centered on the Pacific Northwest.

At the University of Washington, meteorologist Cliff Mass said on Jan. 3 that, "Things often calm down after January 1 during El Niño years, but not this year, with the U.S. West Coast from central California to Washington state about to be pummeled by a series of storms. Rain, snow, wind? Plenty for everyone."

Forecasts currently anticipate a strong low-pressure storm system just off the mouth of the Columbia River by Jan. 9.

"What about precipitation you ask? Do you really want to know? The accumulated total through 4 a.m. next Thursday is impressive, with 5-10 inches over many mountain areas and even 10-20 inches over parts of northern CA, the Olympics and southern BC," Mass said. "Wind? You bet. Each of these storms will bring strong, damaging winds to a favored area of the coastal zone and mountain peaks."

Overnight between Jan. 2 and 3, gusts at the exposed Cape Disappointment headland several times reached 51 mph, with sustained winds in the high 30s to 41 mph. Precipitation has been fairly light, with only about 1/10th of an inch at the Astoria-Warrenton Airport in the 48 hours ended 10 a.m. Thursday.

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