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Fox News Weather Center

Wet weather to dampen San Francisco to Seattle during first days of spring

After a brief dry spell last week, rain and mountain snow will return to the northwestern United States during the first few days of spring.

The large area of high pressure that steered storms away from the West Coast last week has weakened, opening the door for storms to return to the Pacific Northwest.

High pressure will hold firm across Southern California, keeping the region mild and rain-free.

Rain will spread inland across Washington, Oregon and northern California as a storm rolls ashore on Sunday.

"Enough mild air will be in place for precipitation to start in the form of rain across the entire region, including above pass level," Accuweather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun said.

"As colder air builds in behind the storm, snow levels will begin to fall [on Monday]," he explained.

By Monday night, between 1 and 3 inches of rain could fall along the Pacific Northwest coast. Over half a foot of snow may accumulate across the Washington and Oregon Cascades.

Those living in low-lying and poor-drainage areas should watch for localized flooding as the ground remains saturated from the persistent rainstorms during the winter. Seattle, Portland and San Francisco exceeded their normal monthly rainfall during the first half of March alone.

Unlike last weekend's storm which unleashed damaging winds from Seattle to Portland, winds from this storm are forecast to be far less severe. Still, area residents may want to pick up any loose items from outside as breezy conditions will accompany the rain, especially along the coast.

As the storm moves into the northern Rockies, rain is expected to lessen to a few lingering showers on Tuesday.

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While no major storms are on the horizon after Tuesday, on-and-off showers are forecast to linger across the Northwest, while northern California will likely dry out.

Rain may dampen Easter weekend at times in Seattle and Portland, but a drier weather pattern may return for much of next week.