Forget fall. In some parts of the Northwest, the weather this week is going straight to winter.
Indeed, folks in portions of the northwestern U.S. will get an early taste of wintry weather this week as nippy temperatures and a few snowflakes are in the forecast for the highest elevations of Idaho, Oregon and Washington.
In some spots, this will be the first snowflakes since last winter. “A cold storm system sinking down out of western Canada will bring chances for accumulating snow to the highest elevations of the Northwest during the middle of this week,” said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Heather Zehr.
‘Be prepared’ for snow and cold
The National Weather Service in Boise, Idaho, said that light snow is possible above 7,000 feet, “with a 10% chance of snow accumulation greater than one inch above 8,000 feet at high elevation peaks.”
In Pendleton, Oregon, the weather service said “snow levels will lower to around 6,000 feet, and the Wallowa Mountains and the Elkhorns will observe at least several inches of snow. Hunters, campers and hikers need to be prepared for this upcoming cool and wet weather.”
As of midday Tuesday, no winter weather advisories or warnings had yet been hoisted by the weather service.
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No snow for the cities
Although temperatures will cool this week, no snow is predicted for the big cities of the Northwest, such as Spokane, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Boise, Idaho; and Reno, Nevada, AccuWeather said.
The snow and cooler temperatures are courtesy of an upper-level low pressure area that’s settling over the region, the weather service said. By mid- to late-week, the low will bring temperatures that drop into the 30s and 40s at night in the Pacific Northwest, northern Great Basin, and northern Rockies.
These temperatures are some 10-15 degrees below seasonal averages, AccuWeather said.
Skiers will have to wait a bit
The snow won’t be heavy enough or in the right places for ski areas to open in the Northwest this week, although the pattern may cause excitement for avid skiers who are eagerly awaiting for the mountain resorts to open, AccuWeather meteorologist Alyssa Glenny said.
“Typically, ski resorts across the Rocky Mountains and Cascades open sometime between late October and November, depending on the seasonal conditions and location,” she said.
Warmer temperatures more typical of mid- to late-September are forecast by the weekend across the Northwest, AccuWeather said.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: First snow in forecast as snowflakes expected in parts of Northwest