Stormy pattern to resume along US west coast this weekend
By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
November 26, 2017, 9:13:15 AM EST
After a brief reprieve from the storm onslaught, a batch of rain, wind and snow will sweep through the Pacific Northwest and California to close out the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
While much of Northern and Central California were spared from the storms this week, that will not be the case heading into early next week as the storm track expands to the south.
Residents of the Northwest should brace for yet another bout of rain and wind this weekend, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Kyle Elliott.
The combination of rain and snow melt led to flooding along portions of the Skykomish, Snohomish, Snoqualmie and Skagit rivers in western Washington this week.
Additional rainfall over the weekend will continue the risk of flash, urban and river and small stream flooding. The threat of mudslides will also be present.
“Two to 3 inches of rain can be expected in portions of the Olympic Peninsula,” Elliott said. Similar amounts are expected in the northern Washington Cascades, but there can be locally higher amounts along the southwestern slopes of both mountain ranges.
“The major cities of Seattle and Portland, Oregon, should see no more than an additional half inch of rain this weekend," Elliott said.
Localized flooding can also occur in burn-scarred areas of Northern California where a general 0.5 of an inch to 2 inches of rain can fall with locally higher amounts.
At the very least, motorists and airline passengers heading home from their holiday destinations should prepare for delays. San Francisco International Airport will be affected by the storm.
Winds will whip as high as 60 mph along the coasts of Washington and Oregon on Saturday night and Sunday morning, potentially leading to tree damage and sporadic power outages.
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Strong winds will also whip the peaks and leeward areas of the Oregon Cascades and Sierra Nevada to end the weekend. Wind gusts may exceed 60 mph over the ridges.
As cooler air invades, snow levels will drop by several thousand feet into Monday, causing rain to change to snow in the Cascades, as well as the Sierra Nevada, according to Elliott.
"While rain will fall in the mountain passes of the Cascades through the morning and early afternoon of Sunday, snow levels will drop to the higher mountain passes by day's end," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.
Snow levels will continue to drop on Sunday night, and there is the potential for a few slushy inches of snow to trigger slippery travel over Interstate 90's Snoqualmie Pass.
In the Sierra, snow levels will fall from above 8,000 feet to around 5,000 feet from Sunday night to Monday morning.
The snow will fall at a rapid pace. Roads will transition from wet to slushy and snow covered in a matter of minutes.
Travelers over I-80's Donner Pass should prepare for chain requirements or closures as snowfall could surpass half a foot by midday Monday.
The storm may sink far enough to the south to deliver a spotty shower or two across Southern California at the start of the week.
"Strong winds that can create hazards for high-profile vehicles, tree damage and scattered power outages will get kicked up ahead of the storm across the interior Southwest on Monday," Pydynowski said. This includes along the I-15 corridor from Victorville, California, to Las Vegas to Cedar City, Utah.
There is the potential for two other gusty wind events in Southern California in the wake of the storm.
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