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Pacific Northwest Flooding, Snow Precedes Arctic Outbreak

A powerful storm is headed to the northwest
Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON  - JANUARY 18: Snow blankets the Experience Music Project museum near the Space Needle January 18, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. Seattle and Western Washington State have been hit with a snow storm that has dropped several inches of snow.  (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
As in this file photo showing the Experience Music Project dusted with snow, Space Needle in background, Seattle is in for some serious weather. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

A surge of moisture aimed at the Pacific Northwest will generate a bout of flooding rain before a massive Arctic air mass plunges into the West next week.

Rain will increase in coverage and intensity across much of western Washington late Saturday night, including in the cities of Seattle, Olympia and Vancouver.

The moisture will interact with the Cascade Mountains, effectively leading to dangerous rainfall rates of around 1 inch per hour throughout most of the passes.

For residents or visitors traveling through Snoqualmie or Stevens Pass on Sunday, be prepared for slick roadways and potentially blinding downpours.

Rainfall amounts in the central Cascade passes could reach 3-6 inches through Sunday night as snow levels remain on the high side above 6,000 feet.

Forecast Temperature Maps
Winter Weather Center
Cold Eases in East, Blasts Into West

Mountain rain of this magnitude can lead to sharp rises on area rivers with moderate flooding possible in some locations.

Meanwhile, for folks traveling back home from holiday festivities along Interstate 5 between Everett, Seattle and Olympia, steady to locally heavy rain will develop late Saturday night and continue through Sunday. Rainfall amounts through Sunday will average 1-2 inches, which can lead to some flooding of low-lying and poor drainage areas.

Arctic Air Blasts Southward Sunday Night

After the heavy rainfall that occurs through Sunday, temperatures will turn sharply colder Sunday night across the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies as a strong cold front slides southward.

Snow levels across the Washington Cascades will fall from around 5,500 feet on Sunday to 2,500 feet Sunday night and end up just above the ground on Monday.

Heavy rain in the Cascades will transition to heavy snow Sunday night with several inches of accumulation likely. Along with the transition to snow, a rapid freeze is likely across the passes of the Cascades as temperatures quickly fall into the 20s late Sunday night. Interstate 90 through the Cascades will become covered with ice and snow and extremely dangerous.

The air will be so cold that the rain could even mix with some wet snowflakes in places such as Seattle and Portland along the I-5 corridor Monday and Monday night. High temperatures by Tuesday and Wednesday won't get out of the middle 30s in Seattle which is nearly 15 degrees below average for the time of year.

According to Meteorologist Michael Doll, "Several locations, including Seattle and Portland, will flirt with their record low temperatures both Tuesday night and Wednesday night."

Farther east, blizzard conditions will develop Monday from central Alberta into northern Idaho and northwestern Montana as the Arctic air spills southward.

Travel will become extremely difficult Monday in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, as wind-whipped snow combines with temperatures falling into the single digits.

Travel along Interstate 15 will also turn dangerous across the northern Rockies as heavy snow falls and the air becomes bitterly cold. Temperatures on Monday in cities such as Great Falls and Helena will start out in the 40s before plummeting into the 20s then falling close to zero Monday night. Highs by Tuesday will struggle to get out of the teens.

RELATED ON SKYE: 15 Photos of Monster Blizzards


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I was dreaming of a white black-Friday, just like the ones I never knew....

November 30 2013 at 10:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The reason we have so much global warming is because of the hot air the comes out of the WH

November 30 2013 at 10:22 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

I caused it all. I drove my Shelby GT-H Mustang in a parade and contributed to global warming. I feel so guilty for my sins. Anyone selling indulgences these days?

November 30 2013 at 8:23 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to fred's comment

Good for you, we're all proud of you for owning and driving a GT-H. I'm in envy, please enjoy it as much and often as you can. Time passes too quickly.

November 30 2013 at 8:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What did you say about global warming?

November 30 2013 at 7:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Arctic outbreak"...it's going to get cold. "Dangerous rainfall rates"...it's going to rain. "The air could be so cold that rain could mix with some snowflakes"...it's going below 32 degrees. "Travel could become extremely difficult as wind whipped snow combines with falling temperature"...it's going to be windy.

November 30 2013 at 6:28 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

i must get a whole house generator. dont want power outage during a winter storm

November 30 2013 at 6:27 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

It's a Siberian Express. It's winter time for pity's sake.

November 30 2013 at 5:33 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to grainman1955's comment

No, it's not winter, it's fall and here in the Seattle ares it will be rain, not snow. Then cold dry temps mid week.

November 30 2013 at 6:22 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to neb1997's comment

Seattle weather? Two weeks of warm rain followed by 50 weeks of intermittent winter! LOL Yeah, Mom was born in Orting so I can say that.

November 30 2013 at 9:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

Bring it ON! We really need snow here in Oregon! Can't wait!

November 30 2013 at 5:32 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I see a penis in the weathers future.

November 30 2013 at 5:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to Laura's comment
Robert Brooks

Guess that's what $15 an hour gets ya...;)

November 30 2013 at 4:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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