Rain, wind may yield to low-elevation snow Thursday

By Paul Suarez, Columbian freelance

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Heavy rain, wind and falling leaves may clog storm drains and cause street flooding in Southwest Washington on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

A hazardous weather outlook issued by the service said parts of Southwest Washington can see gusts of wind up to 35 mph on Wednesday, mostly in the afternoon and evening. That combined with heavy rain could cause water to pond in roads, it said.

The service also said an incoming cold air mass could produce low-elevation snow in Southwest Washington later this week.

According to the National Weather Service, snow levels will drop below the Cascade passes Thursday and into the weekend. Passes could get somewhere between 3 to 6 inches Thursday but accumulation will decrease on Friday, according to the service's forecast.

Forecasters expect a large upper level trough to settle over the Pacific Northwest on Friday and bring a cooler air mass into the area, the weather service said. Snow levels may reach 1000 feet or lower during the weekend, but precipitation should be light.