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High Wind Warnings posted as strong front to sweep through Saturday night

Satellite imagery from morning of Jan. 20, 2018.

It's going to be a dark and stormy night...

A potent cold front is set to sweep through the region Saturday night, bringing drenching rains and potentially damaging winds to some parts of Western Washington -- mainly along the coast and north of Seattle.

A High Wind Warning remains in effect for the coast and far Northwest Interior through noon Sunday for sustained 20-40 mph winds with gusts to 60 mph. The "Northwest Interior" includes Whatcom and Skagit Counties, the San Juan Islands, Port Townsend area, and the Whidbey and Camano Islands. Those wind speeds are strong enough for potential power outages and tree falls. It appears the worst of the winds will affect the North Coast and the San Juan Islands.

A lesser Wind Advisory is in effect for Snohomish County, Kitsap County and the Sequim area for the same time frame for gusts as high as 45-50 mph -- most frequent near shorelines.

The greater Seattle and Puget Sound region (south of Snohomish County) will be protected by the southeast winds by the Olympic Mountains and is not in an advisory, but will still feature some gusty winds to 35 mph.

The peak winds are expected in the pre-dawn hours into about 8 a.m. On Sunday. Winds will subside during the morning, dropping below warning criteria after noon.

In addition to the winds, heavy rains and significant mountain snows are expected. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the North Cascades while a Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the Central and South Cascades. Olympics and Cascades until 9 a.m. Monday. One to 2 feet of snow is expected in the North Cascades. An Avalanche Warning is also in effect for the backcountry areas of the North Cascades.

There is a Winter Weather Advisory for the Cascades of Snohomish, King, Pierce and Lewis counties from 10 p.m. Saturday until 9 a.m. Monday. Eight to 15 inches of snow are expected, and there will likely be winter driving conditions on Stevens Pass and Snoqualmie Pass.

Heavy rains will fall as well, with a Flood Watch on the Skokomish River. In addition, a Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect for the Admiralty Inlet area around Port Townsend during high tide Sunday morning.

And a Heavy Surf Advisory is in effect for the coast through Sunday afternoon for waves up to 20 feet.

It's the kickoff to a stormy week with a number of weather systems lined up and poised to swing through the region through next weekend.

** Note: The National Weather Service Doppler Radar for Seattle has suffered a malfunction and will be down until sometime Sunday. Thus, radar images will not show any rain between roughly Seattle and Bellingham during the outage.

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