Fox News Weather Center

Soaking rain, heavy mountain snow target northwestern US into next week

Storminess will continue across the northwestern United States into early next week after a rather dry start to 2016.

The storm track, which favored the southwestern U.S. during the first week of January, has shifted to the northwestern United States and that pattern will continue into the third full week of January.

"Several storms will impact the Pacific Northwest and northern California into early next week, renewing the threat for flooding in some areas," AccuWeather Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said.

Heavy rain to renew flood threat from Seattle to northern California

Despite being relatively dry from Seattle to Medford, Oregon, during the first 11 days of January, the ground remains saturated from all of the rain that fell in December.

"After 10 to 15 inches of rain fell from Seattle to Eugene, Oregon, in December, the start of January has been rather dry," Pydynowski said.

The dry start to the year was likely welcome after the area received more than double the normal rainfall in December 2015, which resulted in significant flooding.

With inches of rain forecast into early next week from Seattle to San Francisco, there will be a renewed threat for flooding. The heaviest rain will fall along the coastal regions with the potential for 4 to 8 inches of rain to fall during the span of Wednesday through Sunday.

Rain totals spanning Wednesday to Sunday could reach 2 inches or more from Redding, California, to Medford and Portland, Oregon, Seattle and Vancouver. San Francisco could receive between 1 and 2 inches.

Those traveling along Interstate 5 from northern California to the Canadian border will need to be alert for ponding on roadways and the increased risk of hydroplaning during the morning and evening commutes.

Gusty winds for the majority of the storms will be confined to the coastal regions of Washington, Oregon and California. Winds could occasionally gust to 40 mph.

Portions of southwestern Oregon and northern California will benefit the most from this rainfall as it will continue to chip away at the drought across these areas.

Meanwhile, rain will bypass Southern California and other portions of the southwestern United States. Following flooding and mudslides that impacted the region during the first week of January, the break in storms will allow more time for cleanup.

Feet of snow to bury mountains; accumulating snow to blanket Boise, Salt Lake City

Enough cold air will be in place for precipitation across eastern Washington and Oregon into the Intermountain West to be a mix of rain and snow through the weekend. Most valley regions will deal with rain or a mix of rain and snow during the daytime, with some areas getting snowfall at night. This includes the cities of Spokane, Washington, Salt Lake City and Boise and Pocatello, Idaho.

"With the cold air largely held up across the northern Plains and these storms rolling in from the mild Pacific, snow will struggle to fall and accumulate across the lower elevations, especially during the daytime hours," AccuWeather Meteorologist Evan Duffey said.

Precipitation will be all snow across the Cascades, Sierra Nevada, Bitterroots and much of the northern Rockies where totals will be measured in feet by next week.

"The consistent snowfall will bode well for replenishing glaciers and high mountain snowpack that is a vital water source for parts of the region come spring and summer," Duffey said.

Travel could be difficult across some of the passes, including Snoqualmie and Donner. Please heed any travel restrictions.

Temperatures in Boise, Idaho, will remain above freezing during the daytime before falling below freezing during the overnight hours. Any mixed precipitation that falls during the day will change to all snow during the overnight hours. The city could receive an inch or two of snow through the weekend, but most if not all of it is likely to melt due to the daytime warming.

The best chance for significant snow to fall across Salt Lake City will occur from Thursday night into Friday. Salt Lake City could receive 3 to 6 inches of snow with higher amounts in the Wasatch Mountains.

Some of these storms will have enough moisture to bring accumulating snow to much of Montana, western Wyoming and the Colorado Rockies.

These rounds of storms will bring fresh powder for all skiers and snowboarders planning on hitting the slopes. Those heading to the slopes should follow the rules of the ski resorts as there may be the potential for avalanches.