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Northwest Slammed With Heavy Rain, Wind and Snow

UPDATED 1:30 PM PST, November 20, 2012

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Chad Merrill

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The early week dose of wintery and soggy weather will continue unabated into Wednesday across the Northwest and northern Rockies. The good news is the pattern will break briefly for Thanksgiving before a fresh storm makes an appearance for the remainder of the holiday weekend.

Rain is sliding through the Northwest and northern California with a bit of snow falling across the highest Cascade and northern Rockies peaks. This round of rain won't be as heavy with only 1 to 1.50 inches of rain forecast to pelt the Interstate 5 corridor through Wednesday night. The additional rain will only add to the mounting rainfall totals, which have reached 6 to 9 inches from western Washington to northern California.

Flood Warnings, Flood Advisories and Flood Watches remain in effect for the Interstate 5 and 90 corridors in Washington and Oregon, as well as Washington`s Columbia Basin and northern Idaho`s valleys. If you come across a flooded roadway, it is best to, "Turn Around, Don`t Drown."

The series of Pacific storms are helping to alleviate precipitation deficits in northern California. Redding, Calif., is only 3.89 inches below average since the start of the year compared to the 5 inch deficit seen earlier in November. Ukiah, Calif., trimmed its yearly precipitation deficit from 6.01 inches early this month to 5.62 inches now.

The rain will also help ease the short-term drought. Too much rain at once will overwhelm rivers, pushing excess runoff over banks to trigger flooding. Clogged storm drains could also get overwhelmed by the additional rain, causing more flooding problems.

The moisture will continue to be squeezed out as snow in the colder Washington Cascades, Montana Bitterroot Range and northern Idaho Panhandle through Wednesday.

Blizzard Warnings continue for the northern Rocky Front Range in Montana, while a Winter Storm Warning continues for Idaho`s Sawtooth Mountains. An additional 5 to 15 inches are possible, mainly above 7,500 feet.

The storm is also unleashing gusty winds. Just like yesterday, several Live Earth Networks Tracking Stations have registered gusts 50 to 60 mph in northern California and southern Oregon. These gusts will make travel along Interstates 90, 84, 82 and 5 difficult and help loosen saturated tree roots, causing power interruptions.

High Wind Warnings and Wind Advisories continue from northern California to eastern southern Oregon.

The storm will slide into the Upper Mississippi Valley and southern Canada for Thanksgiving while high pressure makes a brief appearance in its place across the Northwest. This means a return to sunshine and lighter winds for places that have been getting slammed with wind, rain and mountain snow. It'll just be a brief break in the pattern; another storm will swoop into the Northwest late Thursday night with more wind, rain and snow.

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