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‘Intense’ storm to unleash heavy rain, snow across western US next week

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After a lull in the stormy pattern, wet weather will return to the western United States around the middle of next week.

Through the weekend, a broad area of high pressure will guide Pacific storms into the British Columbia coast and away from California and the Northwest.

West pattern 1.27 AM

This pattern will break down by the beginning of February and storms will return to the West Coast.

An intense storm will barrel into the West Coast with heavy coastal rain, mountain snow and strong winds around midweek, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Max Vido.

The unsettled weather will be in no hurry to leave.

“A consistent stream of Pacific moisture will favor stormy conditions through at least Friday from Northern California to the Canada border,” Vido said.

The most persistent rain is expected to target Northern California, where the threat for localized flash flooding will be highest. Spottier rain will expand northward into Portland, Oregon, and Seattle.

Northwest Wed-Fri next week

“Cities such as San Francisco, Eureka, and Redding, California, will continue to add to their well above average rainfall in 2017,” Vido said.

Depending on exactly when the precipitation arrives and how quickly temperatures rise above freezing, there could be a period of freezing rain around the Columbia River Gorge.

Travelers heading north and south along Interstate 5 from Seattle to Sacramento, California, should be prepared for rainy spells and reduced visibility.

The recent dry stretch will allow oil to build up on roadways, threatening to cause slippery spots at the onset of rain.

Gusty winds could heighten the risk for fallen trees and power lines, leading to sporadic power outages. The threat will be greatest across Northern California where the soil remains saturated.

Vido stated that mountain snow would add to the healthy snowpack across the Cascades and Sierra Nevada.

Those with plans to venture over the mountain passes late next week should remain aware of the threat for snow-covered roads and potential closures.

Some rain will reach the southernmost reaches of California, including Los Angeles and San Diego. However, a repeat of last weekend’s devastating flooding is not expected.

Prior to the next storm, stubborn fog and low clouds will cause travel difficulties across the interior Northwest and California’s Central Valley through the weekend.