A small and fast-moving, but potent storm will swing in from the Pacific Ocean Friday night and move across the Northwest with rain, cooler air, mountain snow and gusty winds.
The storm will be about average in terms of most storms during the winter. Gusts along the coast and west-facing slopes of the Olympics and Cascades will range between 40 and 50 mph. However, a few spots can be hit with gusts a bit stronger.
The combination of rain and wind will make for miserable travel conditions along I-5.
Seas can get rough in a hurry Friday night, stay rough on Saturday then diminish quickly Saturday night.
Most of the windswept rain will fall on the Olympic Peninsula Friday night and will reach from Seattle and Bellingham, Wash., to Portland, Ore., later Friday night into Saturday.
Snow levels will drop to around 3,000 feet on the Cascades Saturday, where a half a foot of snow can fall close to pass level. More than a foot of snow is likely in the Washington and northern Oregon Cascade high country.
Travel delays are possible Saturday afternoon and night over the passes as a result.
Rain showers Saturday in eastern areas of Washington and Oregon can change to snow showers at night with a couple of inches possible over the mountains.
On Sunday, lingering Pacific moisture will lead to variable clouds and spotty rain showers along the coast and spotty rain and snow showers over eastern Washington and Oregon.
The next significant storm is due late next week but could take aim more toward southern British Columbia, at least initially.