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Fox News Weather Center

Parade of storms to soak West Coast

People across the West Coast will be reaching for their umbrellas and raincoats this week as rounds of rain drench the region.

A recent change in the weather pattern will result in several storm systems sailing into the West through the middle of December with a majority of the rain falling over the Pacific Northwest.

FOX NEWS WEATHER CENTER

However, unlike storms that moved into the West during the first few weeks of fall, rain from these systems will occasionally dive southward, reaching the drought-stricken areas of Southern California.

Pacific Northwest

The frequency of rain will steadily increase throughout the first half of the week across the Pacific Northwest with much of the rain falling along and west of the Cascades.

Heavy downpours can cause travel disruptions along the I-5 corridor, including in Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia, Washington; and Portland, Salem and Eugene, Oregon.

The bouts of heavy rain could also lead to flash flooding over upslope regions of the Cascades with snow falling over the higher elevations of the mountains.

Snow levels should remain above pass level, good news for those trying to drive through Stevens Pass or Snowqualmie Pass.

 

Rain is forecast to continue over the region through the second half of the week with steadier rain becoming more common in areas east of the Cascade Mountains.

According to AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, this weather pattern has the potential to bring 6-12 inches of rain to western parts of Washington County, Oregon, through the middle of the month.

Rainfall totals east of the mountains should remain well below these levels, but may still reach 1 inch by the end of the week.

California

Dry conditions will kick off the week across much of California while the bulk of the rain focuses on the Northwest.

The exception to this will be parts of northern California where showers occasionally dip southward on Monday and Tuesday, bringing very little in terms of rainfall. These areas will typically be north of San Francisco and Sacramento.

This will begin to change during the middle of the week as the rain starts to advance southward across the Golden State.

 

Rain is expected to overspread northern and central California through Wednesday night and into Thursday with snow falling over the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada Range. This rain will eventually reach Southern California for Friday.

People across California should prepare for urban flooding, particularly those near the coast where the heaviest rain will fall.

In addition to the risk of flooding, some mudslides may occur in the westward-facing mountains.

Motorists may be required to find alternative routes to their destination if a mudslide occurs across a road as it can take cleanup crews days to clear the debris.

It is possible for more sinkholes to open up as well, similar to the sinkhole that opened up in San Francisco during last week's rain.

This wet weather pattern is good news for the ongoing drought in the West as it will bring another dose of beneficial rainfall to the areas being affected the most by extreme drought.

Water reservoirs will have another opportunity to build up their levels following the storm that soaked the state last week. However, it will take many more rainstorms for the water reservoirs to be restored to normal levels.

According to the LA County Public Works, they were able to capture 1.8 billion gallons of water from last week's storm. To put this in prospective, that is enough drinking water to meet the needs of 44,000 people for one year.

This week's rain will also allow people in California to take a break from watering their lawn, helping to conserve even more water.

While dry weather is expected to return for the upcoming weekend, those in California looking for the next chance of rain won't have to wait long after Friday as early indications are hinting at another system moving in during the first part of following week.

It is still tough to tell the exact track that the storm would take and how much rain it would bring to California, so continue to check back with AccuWeather.com.