By Alex Sosnowski
Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com
AccuWeather reports storms are lining up over the northern Pacific, en route to the northwestern United States and British Columbia. One of the storms early next week may be associated with tropical storm Ana.
The first substantial train of storms of the winter season is on track to impact the Northwest this week into early next week.
The storms will bring rounds of drenching rain and perhaps a few episodes of gusty wind to coastal areas from northern California to Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.
“The storms will bring heavy rain to coastal areas, which can be enough to cause flash flooding and mudslides,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bernie Rayno.
A general 3-to-6 inches of rain can fall along the immediate coast, but locally higher amounts are possible in the eastern slopes of the coastal ranges, including the Olympic Mountains in northwestern Washington state.
While the rain will be less intense to the lee of the coastal ranges, enough can fall to slow travel at times along the Interstate-5 corridor from Redding, California, to Portland, Oregon, and Seattle. Rain will soak Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Some of the rain will reach and may benefit hard-hit drought areas of northern California and southern Oregon.
More sporadic and less intense rainfall will push farther south in California, but not to the extent to have significant impact on the long-term exceptional drought just yet.
Meanwhile, tropical storm Ana continues to track over the central Pacific Ocean, west of Hawaii.
As this system curves around over colder waters farther north later this week into the weekend, it will lose tropical characteristics.
“Some of the moisture and winds from Ana may either survive or help fuel another storm off the coast of the Northwest,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity.
“That system may then plow onshore during the first part of next week with heavy rain and gusty winds.”