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    Northwest Storm Could Cause Flooding, Avalanches

    By By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
    March 07, 2014, 2:03:53 AM EST

    A low pressure system set to slam into the Northwest will not only deliver rain over the region, but also the threat of flooding and avalanches.

    Strong winds and heavy mountain snow are forecast to accompany the rain brought by this storm as it continues to impact the region through Thursday.

    The areas that will be hardest hit by this system will be those at the coast where the heaviest rainfall and strongest winds are expected, which may result in some coastal flooding.

    Some flash flooding and travel delays are also possible farther inland along the I-5 corridor, including Seattle, Wash. and Portland, Ore.


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    Avalanches will also be a threat around the Cascades as a surge of warm air moves in ahead of this system.

    The combination of rain and snow falling over the mountains and this surge of warmer air will help to weaken the stability of the snowpack on the ground, resulting in the elevated risk of avalanches.

    This threat is expected to decrease through Thursday as colder air moves in over the region; however, some are still possible as more snow adds to the weight piling on the already unstable snowpack.

    As of 4 p.m. PST Wednesday, March 5, 2014, a 61 mile stretch of U.S. 12 closed due to the potential for avalanches in the area, according to the Idaho Department of Transportation.

    If you plan on traveling in the mountainous areas, you should use extreme caution as these avalanches may happen at any time with little warning.


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    By Friday, this storm system will begin to track over the Plains, leaving only a few showers around to close out the week.

    The next chance for a soaking rain and mountain snow will come over the second half of the weekend as a cold front swings through the region.

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