Wet Start to the Week for the Pacific Northwest

May 1, 2012; 5:59 AM ET
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A storm system heading into the Pacific Northwest is bringing a return of some wet weather to start the new week.

Rain has already spread into Washington and Oregon and will continue to spread eastward throughout the day and night.

Residents across the area will need to keep their umbrellas close by when heading to school, work or an outdoor activity. Places like Portland, Ore., Tacoma Wash., and Seattle can expect wet commutes this morning and this afternoon.

Use caution on wet roadways. Slow down and allow for more space between you and the car in front of you.

Rainfall amounts will be greatest along the coastal sections of Washington and Oregon where a half inch of rain or more will fall through this evening.

As the storm system pushes eastward, a cold front will pass through the region later this afternoon. Cooler air behind the front will drop snow levels to around 5,000 feet this afternoon and around 4,000 feet tonight.

Any leftover precipitation will change to snow in the higher elevations of the Washington Cascades. Snow will generally accumulate 1-3 inches, but a few locations could have up to half a foot of fresh snow.

Any residents who will be traveling in the higher elevations later this evening and tonight should use extreme caution. Watch out for slick spots, especially on snow-covered roadways.

With such cold air aloft, rain and snow showers will continue through the middle of the week. Beyond that, more unsettled weather is in store as another storm system approaches the region later on Wednesday and Thursday.

Keep checking back with AccuWeather.com for the latest updates.

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