Rainy couple of days ahead later this week

Rainy couple of days ahead later this week
This NOAA satellite image taken Tuesday, March 4, 2014, shows extensive cloudiness over much of northern and central California with persistent rain showers. A stationary front from the central Rocky Mountains through the Pacific Northwest brings a mix of rain showers and snow at the higher elevations. (AP Photo/Weather Underground)

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Enjoy the warm, dry weather while you can. Wednesday and Thursday are going to be wet.

The National Weather Service says a moist westerly flow will bring rain through Thursday for most of Oregon and Washington. The rain will be heavy at times.

KATU Meteorologist Mary Loos said the wet weather will arrive in two storms, the first hitting the region late Tuesday night. The second round, Loos said, will arrive just in time for the Wednesday evening commute.

Mild temperatures will raise the snow level, so mountain passes will also see rain or a rain-snow mix.

Loos said rainfall totals for the Portland metro area could reach 1-3 inches by the end of the day on Thursday.

Forecasters expect .75-to-2.5 inches of rain on the Western Washington lowlands, 2-to-6 inches in the Cascades and rain in the valleys and middle elevations east of the Cascades. Along with melting snow, that could cause stream or urban flooding in places and fill flood-prone rivers.

After recent heavy snow, the rain and warmer temperatures have created very dangerous avalanche conditions. The Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center does not recommend travel in the backcountry terrain of the Olympics and Cascades and Mount Hood, outside ski areas.

Forecasters expect a dry break on Friday.