Week winter storm watch in forecast

This image is for use with this specific article only** Thousands lost power in western Washington state after a storm hit the area earlier this week

A Winter Storm Watch is in effect through noon Wednesday for areas including Stevens and Snoqualmie Pass, and a Winter Storm Warning from 4 p.m. Tuesday to 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Northern Cascades, including Blewett Pass.

Motorists planning travel into the mountains of the Sierra Nevada during this time frame should be prepared for hazardous winter driving conditions. The heaviest snow is expected Wednesday evening through Thursday afternoon.

Rain and strong winds will start out the week.

Motorists should plan on hard driving conditions on the highest passes of Southern Oregon - including Interstate 5 at the Siskiyou Summit as well as Highways 140, 62, 66 and Dead Indian Memorial Road.

Wind gusts of thirty to sixty miles per hour are expected at the highest elevations. Snow showers expected to decrease Thursday night. Estimates for snow accumulation at lower elevation are uncertain, as it depends on how fast snow level drops Thursday, according to NWS.

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Significant reductions in visibility are possible with strong wind and heavy snow.

Winter Storm Warning means there is potential for significant snow, sleet or ice accumulations that may impact travel.

In the lower elevations of the mountains, rain is likely on Wednesday, mainly after 5 p.m., with a high near 67 degrees, and a 60 percent chance of precipitation between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Most of the rain will move into this region on Wednesday night, and then into the San Joaquin Valley on Thursday.

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