The return of rain and snow to the northwestern United States, including Northern California, will heighten travel disruptions through the weekend.
Through Friday, the main stream of moisture will aim at the Pacific Northwest.
Rainy spells are in store from Seattle to Portland, Oregon, with heavy snow expected over the Washington Cascades, including Interstate 90’s Snoqualmie Pass.
During Saturday and Sunday, a storm will make significant progress southward and inland across the Northwest.
Unsettled weather will cross the Northwest with coastal rain and mountain snow over the weekend, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Max Vido.
Rain will push southward along the Interstate-5 corridor from Seattle to San Francisco spanning Friday night to Saturday night.
“Places in coastal Oregon and Northern California that have already seen inundating rains this winter may receive up to 2 inches of wind-swept rain,” Vido said.
Gusty winds will enhance the threat for downed trees and power lines, especially where the soil remains saturated.
The wet weather will mainly bring hazards to motorists due to ponding of water and reduced visibility. The threat for flash flooding is expected to be fairly isolated.
The rain will fail to reach Southern California which is good news for San Diego residents still cleaning up from flooding early in the week.
Accumulating snow will pile up in feet across the Cascades and the northern Sierra, adding to the healthy snow pack already in place. Snow will also bury the Bitterroots and Tetons by Sunday.
Crews may have difficulty finding where to place the new snow. Travelers over the major mountain passes, including Interstate 80’s Donner Pass, should expect hazardous driving conditions.
“Snow levels can dip to below 1,000 feet at times throughout the weekend,” Vido said. “Residents in the foothills of the Cascades may see some snow accumulations and slippery travel conditions.”
At least two more major storms will impact the Northwest from Monday to Wednesday of next week.
Prior to the rain, repairs on the Oroville Dam will be unhindered as dry weather holds across Northern California through Friday.
On Monday, officials got a full picture of the damaged spillway after the flow of water was cut off for the first time in several weeks.
Water levels in the reservoir will be monitored closely with the additional rainfall expected this weekend.