Areas of Rain, Snow, and Winds Could Impact Travel Out West This Week

Posted: November 20, 2023 8:17 am

It was a stormy weekend for the Pacific Northwest with major metropolitan areas such as Seattle and Portland being under the threat of sporadic rain and other impacts. But will this pattern continue into the start of the new week and how will travelers heading out for the Thanksgiving holiday be impacted? Here is what you need to know if you live out West.

Unsettled Weather Lingering in the Northwest

A large area of low pressure was responsible for the stormy conditions across much of California last week. While that system has pushed inland, a southward dip in the jet stream brought another weather maker into the Northwest over the last few days. How long can you expect this unsettled weather pattern to linger in this corner of the country?

Like the storm system that impacted California last week, this area of unsettled weather in the Northwest will also track to the east and allow colder air to filter in behind. This cold air has already brought the threat of snow showers to some portions of the Cascades. The snow level fell just below 4,000 feet on Sunday with a few flurries making their way down into the pass level, complicating travel for motorists moving across the higher terrains of Washington state.

Gusty Winds to Start the Week in Southern California

Gusty winds were also an issue for this system down into California. What is known as a Sundowner event will evolve into the threat of Santa Ana winds through Monday. Portions of the San Bernardino and Riverside County Valleys, the Inland Empire, the Santa Ana Mountains and Foothills, and inland areas of Orange County are under a high wind warning through 10 am Tuesday.

These gusts will be strong enough to potentially trigger sporadic power outages. Gusts could hit as high as 100 mph in the higher terrains more susceptible to winds of this magnitude.

Conditions will begin to dry out across the Interstate 5 corridor in Washington and Oregon on Monday. Travel throughout Seattle and Portland should be mostly favorable over the next few days with just the chance of a few scattered rain showers. For instance, Seattle will be dry on Monday, see scattered rain showers late Tuesday, and then jump back into a dry pattern for the balance of the week.

Those on the West Coast can thank an area of high pressure for the mostly dry conditions leading up to Thanksgiving Day. California will be back to its typical weather pattern of sunshine and moderate temperatures this week.

However, a frontal system moving into the Northeast and across the northern Rockies beginning on Tuesday will bring the chance of rain once again. The higher elevations of this region should be prepared for the threat of snow. Motorists heading up to the mountains will want to keep an eye on the hourly forecast and anticipate the possibility of travel delays on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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