A pair of winter storms will bring additional rounds of rain and snow to storm-weary residents of the Pacific Northwest this weekend.
The first in the series will be a continuation of the storm that paralyzed Portland, Oregon, with freezing rain into Friday, causing numerous accidents and resulting in the closure of portions of Interstate 5.
Though wet weather will persist on Saturday, travel conditions in the Interstate-5 corridor between Seattle and Portland will vastly improve as temperatures rise well into the 40s.
In the higher elevations, however, snow may snarl travel in the Cascades of Washington and northern Oregon, as well in the Bitterroots of Idaho.
Motorists venturing across Interstate 90 between Missoula, Montana, and Snoqualmie Pass, Washington, should reduce speeds when driving through heavy snow.
The second storm is set to follow on Saturday night through Monday morning, bringing an even heavier bout of wintry weather to the Northwest.
As colder air charges into the region on Sunday night, rain along the I-5 corridor between Seattle and Portland will quickly changeover to heavy, wet snow.
“Snowfall accumulation Sunday night between the I-5 corridor and the Cascades from northern Oregon to Washington will depend on elevation,” according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Michael Doll.
While the city of Seattle will pick up only a couple of inches of snowfall, areas just east of the city could receive more than 6 inches, Doll added.
Seattle averages just under 6 inches of snow in a typical winter season. Even a few inches of snow at one time can cause travel delays and shut down major roadways.
Motorists should be prepared for possible road closures from Sunday night into Monday.
Additionally, the weight of the snow may bring down power lines and cause tree branches to snap.
“Areas that receive more than 4 inches of snow are at risk for power outages,” Doll stated.
While wet snowflakes may be sighted in Portland on Sunday night, mostly rain is expected over the weekend as temperatures remain well above freezing.
Another 1 to 2 feet of additional snow will bury the Cascades and the Bitterroots through Monday, with over 6 inches expected in portions of the I-5 corridor in southern Washington.
Major airline delays are likely throughout the Northwest as visibility is greatly reduced in the rain and snow.
A brief reprieve from the stormy conditions will arrive on Monday evening.