Widespread heavy rain expected for Northwest through the weekend
The heaviest rain looks to fall over the weekend, with an even greater risk of flooding for northeastern Oregon and far southeastern Washington
A weak Pacific storm system approaching the West Coast will mark the beginning of an active period for the region, with rain in the forecast each day through Monday.
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Showers and thunderstorms are expected throughout the weekend. A few strong storms may even occur.
Locally heavy rain, small hail and gusty winds will accompany the strongest storms. Repeated rounds of storms will also lead to an increased risk of flooding in areas of poor drainage and in low-lying areas.
Up to 3 inches of rain could fall through Monday.
The National Weather Service in Spokane, Washington, said widespread thunderstorms Friday created more than 1,200 lightning strikes in northeastern Washington.
Omak, Washington, received more than 1 inch of rain over 24 hours as of Saturday morning. Deer Park and Kettle Falls received more than a half-inch, according to the NWS.
The storms will also pose the risk of mudslides or debris flows around recent burn scars in the North Cascades and Okanogan Highlands.
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A Flash Flood Watch has been issued for parts of southeastern Washington and northwestern Oregon through Saturday at noon local time. The watch includes Asotin and Garfield counties in Washington and the foothills of the Northern and Southern Blue Mountains, Grande Ronde Valley and John Day Basin in Oregon.
The heaviest rain looks to fall Saturday and Sunday, with an even greater risk of flooding for northeastern Oregon and far southeastern Washington. Snow will be confined to the highest peaks and elevations and will not be a concern.
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Up to 3 inches of rain could fall by Monday. And with the region locked in drought conditions, the rain will be more beneficial than anything.
The moisture and energy with this system will move slowly inland to the northern Rockies and Great Basin by Sunday, the NWS said.
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