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    Storm to Slam the Northwest this Weekend

    By By Alex Sosnowski, Expert Senior Meteorologist
    October 21, 2010, 2:53:09 PM EDT

    A storm heading for the Northwest United States and British Columbia, Canada may bring not only a wake-up call, but a knockout punch for some areas this weekend.

    Tranquil weather now over the Northwest will soon deteriorate.

    Storms are lining up for the attack over the Pacific Ocean and the Pacific Coast represent the invasion points for North America.

    While two modest storms will roll onshore with clouds, rain and coastal breezes Friday into Saturday, the third and strongest storm of the bunch is on track to slam ashore Saturday evening into Sunday.


    400x266_10201957_nwwkndstorm

    In addition to heavy rain and lowering snow levels, high winds may be another nasty component of the weekend storm.

    The area from northern California to the southern part of the Alaska Panhandle stands to be impacted by the storms.

    That third storm is likely to hit with windswept rain and slamming waves in coastal areas.

    A long stretch of Interstate 5 stands to be impacted. Cities from Eugene to Portland, Seattle and Vancouver are some of the major cities to be hit first with the storm.

    Western weather expert, Ken Clark stated, "This will be the first strong fall storm of the season."

    The strong winds may also bring the winter season's first general episode of damaging winds and heavy snow to the high country of not only the Cascades this weekend, but also the Bitterroot Range and the northern Rockies in general Sunday into early next week.

    Wind gusts could top 60 mph in some coastal areas, over the ridges and through the passes.

    Lowering snow levels could also flirt with some of the passes for a time.


    400x266_10201958_nwchanges

    Clouds and a little rain to end the week are just the start of what may be a very stormy weekend for the Northwest.

    This is the type of situation that can catch hikers and climbers by surprise, due to the spell of tranquil weather of late.

    A combination of the snow with high winds and blizzard conditions in the high country could have some outdoor interests stranded.

    The same storm poised to slam the Northwest this weekend could evolve into the first large-scale fall/winter storm over the prairies of the U.S. and Canada during the middle of next week.

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