For Immediate Release – AccuWeather News
The first in a round of potent storm systems will crash onshore today, bringing a variety of active weather conditions including hurricane-force wind gusts, feet of snow and heavy rain.
A powerful area of low pressure barreling into British Columbia is responsible for the stormy conditions.
Along the immediate Oregon and Washington coasts, winds will gust to near 70 mph at times with sustained winds of 40 to 50 mph. These battering winds can lead to downed power lines and trees.
The winds will whip the rain into sheets along the coast where 1 to 2 inches of rain will fall today. By the time the storm winds down late tonight and on Tuesday, some locations could have received up to 4 inches of rain!
Farther inland, rainfall amounts will be less extreme, although a very wet day is in store from Portland to Seattle.
In the higher elevations, heavy snow will pile up. Over a foot of snow is likely from this storm in the Olympic mountains of Washington. Farther south, feet of snow will likely accumulate in the mountains of northern California tonight into tomorrow.
Snow amounts farther inland will be lighter with a half foot in northern Idaho and northwestern Washington. The Cascades of Washington and Oregon as well as the Sierras in California can expect a foot of snow as well.
As AccuWeather.com meteorologist Brian Edwards points out, “This pattern, while not favorable for outdoor activities, will help to alleviate some of the dry conditions and the lack of snowpack in the mountains.”
Edwards goes on to explain, “Snowpack in the Sierra Nevada of California was running at about 30 percent of normal as of the end of February. This is a far cry from the same time last year when snowpack and snow-water equivalent were above average in the vicinity of 120% of normal.”
This early week storm system will be the first in a string of moisture-laden disturbances that will impact the Northwest this week.
Story by Dan DePodwin, AccuWeather.com Meteorologist.