Fox News Weather Center

Showers to frequent northwestern US this week

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Frequent showers will force residents of the northwestern United States to keep umbrellas handy this week.

This week will not be a total washout as there will be breaks in the rain, but wet conditions will be more prevalent than dry.

The main exception will be the lower elevations of the Columbia Plateau in eastern Washington and northeastern Oregon. Most of the week will be dry in Pendleton, Oregon, and Yakima and Pasco, Washington.

The showers will be most frequent in the mountains with snow showers occasionally whitening the higher elevations (above the passes). More substantial snow will target Glacier National Park in Montana into Monday.

There will also be thunderstorms creating near daily hazards to hikers in the Bitterroot Mountains of Idaho and in southern Oregon, northern California and Nevada. That is especially true in the afternoon and evenings.

Along the I-5 corridor, Tuesday and Wednesday will feature the best days for outdoor plans as a break in the showers will come between the unsettled start to the week and return of showers late in the week.

The majority of the showers will be gone from Seattle by Monday evening. The retractable roof at Safeco Field shouldn't be needed for the series between the Mariners and the Oakland Athletics.

"By Tuesday, the large storm system responsible for triggering the showers [at the start of the week] will progress east a bit," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Zapolski said.

"This will bring a lull or decrease in shower activity for Tuesday and Wednesday, but there can still be some showers across the higher terrain."

Tuesday will be the milder of the two days in Seattle and Portland as clouds break for some sunshine.

The need for umbrellas and potential disruptions to outdoor plans will return to the I-5 corridor late in the week.

"On Thursday, a new storm system will slide down the British Columbia coast into the Northwest, once again causing shower activity to become more widespread," Zapolski said.

The storm will also spread showers over the Columbia Plateau late in the week, as well as delivering another shot of cool air to the entire Northwest.

Highs in the lower 60s will be common along the I-5 corridor. Highs in the middle 60s and near 70 F are more typical this time of year in Seattle and Portland, respectively.

Snow levels will also fall down to some of the higher mountain passes (not including I-90 Snoqualmie Pass). Hikers kicking off the Memorial Day holiday weekend early will have to make sure to dress properly to deal with the chilly conditions.

How quick the storm drops out of the Northwest will determine whether the showers or dry weather win out for the holiday weekend.

While the prospect of showers is bad for those with outdoor plans, any rain is good news with the return of significant drought conditions and wildfire danger possible during the middle to latter part of the summer.