Potent storms to roll across northwestern US into next week

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Following the first significant storm of the season across the northwestern United States, more rounds of rain, snow and chilly air are in store into next week.

Unseasonably chilly air and wet weather will dive southward across the interior Northwest and northern Plains into Saturday.

“A storm of this magnitude diving this far south for mid-September is slightly early, but these storms will become more frequent as we head through late September and October,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Jordan Root said.

The fall and winter months are when the Northwestern states receive the bulk of their yearly precipitation.

A wind-driven, soaking rain will push across Montana and the Dakotas into Friday night, where high temperatures in the 40s and 50s F will have residents grabbing additional layers under their rain jackets.

Steady, light rain will linger in these areas on Saturday, making umbrellas and coats necessities once again.

The wet weather will help to slash the severe to exceptional drought plaguing the region, as well as douse wildfires that have seared the Northwest this summer and have led to weeks of poor air quality.

As chilly air plunges southward, snow is forecast for the northern Rockies, including Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and Glacier National Parks, into Saturday morning. Snowfall could near a foot at the highest peaks.

Traveling will be most treacherous on Friday night and Saturday morning, when wet roads can freeze and snow can quickly accumulate on the ground. Drivers should use extra caution over the mountain passes, slowing down to avoid spinouts or multi-vehicle pileups.

There will only be a brief break before the next storm arrives at the coast to end the weekend.

“A strong system will push into the Pacific Northwest, leading to what could be significant rain coming into Oregon and Washington Sunday night into Monday before pushing into the northern Rockies by Tuesday,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jack Boston said.

Roads could be slippery at the onset of rain along Interstate 5 due to oil buildup from the recent dry stretch.

Another significant push of chilly air will follow in the storm’s wake.

There is a good chance for more snow above a 5,000 feet elevation, according to Boston.

The Cascades and Blue Mountains will likely see their first flakes of the season early next week.

Snow will top off the peaks of the northern Rockies and could trigger another round of slippery travel.

Residents and travelers should anticipate slower commutes on the roads and possible delays at the airports during the wet and wintry pattern next week.

“Temperatures will continue to run below normal through the first half of next week behind the system, with patchy clouds and scattered showers,” Boston said.

The press of cool air will be far-reaching, knocking temperatures below normal in Sacramento and Fresno, California; Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada; and Salt Lake City, Utah.