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A storm packing rain, mountain snow and gusty winds will spin onshore over the northwestern United States into the end of the week.
“A powerful storm will crash into the Pacific Northwest and provide heavy rain to much of the region,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rossio.
Some burn areas in Northern California could have several inches of rain, heightening the risk for mudslides. These could topple trees and power lines, resulting in power outages and blocked mountain roads.
Coastal areas can expect to feel the system’s first impacts, with southerly winds growing strong and gusty.
“Strong winds can be expected along the immediate coastlines of Oregon and Washington. Winds can gust between 40-50 mph along the coast,” Rossio said.
Snowfall is expected to reach the Cascades in Washington and Oregon as well.
“Several inches of accumulation can be expected. This can make for hazardous travel,” Rossio warned.
With freezing rain possible east of the Washington Cascades, as well as in northern Idaho and Montana, roads could become coated in ice, making travel dangerous Wednesday night through Thursday.
Thursday will be a soggy day throughout the region as rounds of rain continue to soak areas from San Francisco to Seattle.
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Many coastal cities have already received well over their average amount of rainfall for the entire month. Drainage systems could become overwhelmed, resulting in localized flooding.
Inland areas from the Bitterroots of Idaho to the Rockies of Montana and northwestern Wyoming can expect a fresh layer of snow on Thursday.
Ski resorts preparing to open this month, including Montana’s Big Sky and Wyoming’s Jackson Hole, could have up to 3 inches of fresh powder by the weekend. Higher amounts are expected to accumulate at the resort summits.
As the system treks inland on Friday, precipitation intensity is expected to lessen. A damp day is in store for the region nonetheless, with high-elevation snow continuing as well.
This is merely the start of a busy storm season for the Northwest.
Additional storms will line up over the Pacific next week.
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Following a push of dry air during the middle part of this week, a humid and rather wet weather pattern is forecast to evolve over the eastern third of the nation during the latter part of July.