Fox News Weather Center

Rain, mountain snow to return to northwestern US following a dry week

A change in the weather pattern will bring the return of rain and mountain snow to the northwestern United States starting late this week.

Following an area of rain on Monday, most areas from Seattle to Portland, Oregon, were rain-free or received little rainfall for the remainder of this week.

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"The last storm to come ashore in the West was on Monday, Feb. 21," AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob England said. "Since then, high pressure was in place over the West allowing for mostly dry conditions and above-average temperatures."

Highs much of this week were between 5 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit above average.

By Friday, the area of high pressure will weaken causing storms to return to the Pacific Northwest. Storms are expected to reach the region once every two days.

At least four storms are expected to reach the West Coast by the end of next week, with dry breaks in between.

"After a few dry days, rain will make a return to the northwestern U.S. beginning on Friday," AccuWeather Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said.

Rain will graze areas from western Washington to northwestern California during Friday night and continue to press inland through Saturday.

"Rain can affect the afternoon commute in Seattle and Portland and continue for a time on Friday night," Pydynowski said.

"Northern California, including San Francisco, will get clipped by the storm but the rest of the state will stay dry," Englund said.

The amount of rain will be much less than most storms thus far this winter. Each storm will produce rainfall amounts of less than an inch in most locations. Any widespread areas of flooding will be low.

Snow will blanket the Cascades. Up to 6 inches of snow can fall during each storm.

Storms are expected to reach the Pacific Northwest on Sunday as well as next Tuesday and Thursday.

"Each storm will be fairly warm as snow levels will only fall to as low as 4,000 feet," England said.

"The limit of cold air with these storms will keep snow levels above pass level in the Washington Cascades, posing no travel concerns for drivers," Pydynowski said.

The persistent storms impacting the Northwest have led to above-average rainfall each month in Seattle since last October, ending the drought across the city.