Following a quiet start to the week, damp and unsettled weather that swept back into the Pacific Northwest at midweek will stick around through the weekend.
The first in a parade of storms will continue to inundate the Northwest with abnormally cool and dreary conditions through week’s end.
“As a large pocket of cool weather moves into the Northwest on Friday, snow levels will lower to around 5,000 feet in interior regions, with 1-3 inches of snow likely in portions of Idaho, the highest elevations of northwestern Montana and around Yellowstone National Park,” according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Ryan Adamson.
Adamson added that snow will also slick roadways and whiten the ground in parts of the Cascades, where up to 6 inches of snow can fall.
In lower elevations, bouts of steadier rain will make grabbing the umbrella and rain gear a must for people venturing to and from work.
A few rounds of showers may even creep into Northern California, providing much-needed relief for ongoing wildfire containment efforts in the state.
Regardless of rainfall, residents in the Northwest will need jackets, sweatshirts and even coats and scarfs if planning prolonged periods of outdoor activities.
“Most areas in the coastal and interior Northwest will have high temperatures around 5-10 degrees below normal on Friday,” Adamson added.
High temperatures are forecast to remain stuck in the 50s in Seattle and Spokane, Washington; Portland, Oregon; and Boise, Idaho, on Friday, while overnight lows dip into the 30s and 40s F.
On the heels of this first system will be a second and even more powerful one.
Because this storm will bring in warmer air, snow levels should rise to around 8,000 feet in Washington and 10,000 feet in Oregon by the weekend.
Excluding the highest elevations of the Cascades, rain instead of snow will fall in all areas with this storm system.
Adamson mentioned that some of the rain will be heavy, making flooding a concern west of the Cascades. By the end of the weekend, at least 3-6 inches of rain is forecast in Seattle and Portland, with as much as a foot of rain in the mountains.
In addition, howling winds lacking from the first system will kick up with this second one.
Winds gusts of 40-50 mph will batter the coastline and can topple trees and cause power outages in areas west of the Cascades.
Mariners and fishermen will face rough seas and dangerous swells, and beach erosion may be possible as battering waves pound the coast.
The weather will turn more tranquil early next week as the storm track shifts into British Columbia, well north of the border.