After a stretch of dry and warm weather graced the Pacific Northwest last week, a winterlike chill and damp, dreary conditions will return through midweek.
A major storm system and vortex of chilly air more typical of late winter will dive southward from western Canada Monday and traverse the Northwest and northern Rockies into Wednesday.
“It’s been a wet spring so far in the northwestern U.S., and this storm will only add to the surpluses,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll.
Residents of Seattle and Olympia, Washington, as well as Portland, Salem and Eugene, Oregon, should prepare for travel delays and a rainy commute to and from work Tuesday. All of these locations may receive at least an inch of rain by Tuesday night.
“Late spring is typically when the Northwest enters the dry season, but wind-driven rain will batter parts of Oregon, Nevada and far Northern California with wind gusts past 40 mph,” Doll added.
However, fans heading out to AT&T Stadium to watch the San Francisco Giants take on the Los Angeles Dodgers early this week can leave the rain gear at home as coastal California should be spared from all but a stray shower.
Temperatures more typical of late winter and early spring will accompany the unsettled conditions and make for a damp and dreary first half of the week.
After reaching the 70s last week, both Seattle and Portland will struggle to reach the middle 50s Tuesday.
“High temperatures will be 10 to 15 degrees below average for this time of year through midweek, allowing snow levels to dip to unusually low territory for May,” said Doll.
After a seemingly continual barrage of storm systems brought incredible amounts of snow to the mountains of the West this winter, yet another dose of heavy snow is on the way this week.
“There can be enough snow at pass level through the Cascades of Washington and Oregon to cause slippery roads and travel delays, while the Bitterroot Mountains in Idaho and far western Montana could see 6-12 of snow through midweek,” Doll stated.
While the snow may cause slippery traveling conditions and heighten the risk for spin-outs and accidents along Interstate 90 from Missoula, Montana, to Snoqualmie Pass in Washington, it will come as a delight to skiers enjoying the extended ski season and eager to return to the slopes.
By late week, an usually heavy late-season snowstorm may unfold in the mountains of southern Wyoming and sneak into the foothills outside of Denver.
However, drier and milder conditions are expected to return to the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies by late week.