After a relatively quiet pattern, there's a chance for severe storms across the Pacific Northwest as Memorial Day weekend approaches.
Ahead of a cold front that will move into coastal Washington and Oregon late Thursday night, mild temperatures and overspreading moisture will contribute to showers and thunderstorms over eastern Oregon into central Idaho.
The Storm Prediction Center has indicated a slight risk of storms with the main threat of damaging winds up to 70 mph and hail of an inch or larger. The greatest confidence in strong-to-severe storms is focused on Northeastern Oregon, Northern Idaho and Southeast Washington. The tornado risk is extremely low.
While multiple rounds of rain are expected starting late Thursday, the most widespread activity will occur this weekend into early next week.
Rain amounts are generally expected to be between 1 to 2 inches with locally higher amounts as high as 6 inches east of the Cascade Mountains as well as in central Montana.
A handful of severe storms will be possible on Friday across much of Montana and eastern North Dakota with similar threats to Thursday.
Starting Sunday, extremely cool air for late May will work into region. Moderate to heavy snow is expected to break out across the higher elevations of the region.
As a result of the snow, significant impacts, especially with regard to holiday weekend travel is becoming more likely in southwest Montana. More details will come as the event draws closer.