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Pacific river of moisture to focus flood threat on Northern California early next week

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One storm after another will roll in from the Pacific Ocean and across the northwestern United States, causing more travel problems and flooding from heavy precipitation, during early next week.

Much of Washington, Oregon and northern California will get a break from substantial precipitation from Friday into early this weekend. However, the break will be short-lived.

Storms will resume across the Northwestern states later this weekend.

"The storms will have significant impacts on Washington and Oregon from Saturday night through Tuesday with rounds of drenching low-elevation rain and mountain snow," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.

Static Early Next Week Northwest

"Northern California is likely to be slammed again as it appears the heaviest rain from the storms will target the region at the start of next week," Anderson said.

While the storms will bring the risk of mudslides and avalanches, the greatest threat to lives and property will be from flooding.

There is the potential for 3 to 6 inches of rain to fall on the mountains, below snow level from Sunday to Monday over the northern half of California with 1 to 3 inches over the Sacramento Valley. Locally higher amounts are possible.

This new dose of heavy rain combined with prior heavy rain this season will aggravate the flooding situation. Many reservoirs are at full capacity. Many rivers are near or above flood stage.

The full reservoirs are forcing officials to release water downstream that would normally be captured.

People living along streams and rivers are encouraged to monitor the situation closely.

Heavy snow will also fall over the mountains. Snow levels are likely to be low enough during all or part of the period during early next week to cause slippery travel over the major passes in the Cascades and northern Sierra Nevada from Washington to Northern California.

Episodes of snow and an icy mix will also lead to travel hazards over the interior Northwest, east of the Cascades for a time next week.

Gusty winds and soggy soil will allow some trees to be knocked over, which can lead to sporadic power outages.

There are some signs the pattern may break for part of the Northwest later next week as colder air begins to push southward.

"Drier air will push across Washington and Oregon from Canada later next week," Anderson said.

Static Late Next Week NW

There is some uncertainty as to how far south this dry air will push. It may not be dry all across the Northwest, despite the pattern change.

Additional rain may fall on Northern California from Tuesday to Thursday.

It may take until late next week or next weekend before the wet weather ends for more than a day or two south of Oregon.