Rain may be on the horizon in the West as a pattern change raises hope for wet weather

As firefighters continue their efforts to control blazes across California, there is hope on the horizon for some assistance from Mother Nature early next week.

A stagnant ridge of high pressure has sat comfortably over the state through much of November, bringing about a delayed start to the wet season across the West.

There will be a pair of incoming storm systems that will bring wet weather to the West Coast this week, but coverage will be limited to the Pacific Northwest and Montana. The unsettled weather will be welcome across this area too, as it will help to wash out stagnant air that has led poor air quality in recent days.

The first of those two storm systems to track into the Northwest moved inland on Tuesday and produced rain in places like Seattle and Spokane, Washington. Snow was primarily limited to the mountains and along the Canadian border.

Dry, settled and slightly warmer conditions will return across the Northwest Wednesday and Thursday as high pressure over California expands northward in the wake of the departed storm system.

Unsettled weather will return into the forecast Friday and into the weekend, but once again, wet weather will be generally limited to the Northwest.

Looking ahead to next week, there is a glimmer of hope in the forecast as AccuWeather Meteorologists will be tracking a storm system capable of breaking down the ridge of high pressure over California. Although the breakdown of the ridge may be brief, it could provide a chance for wet weather along a wider swath of the West Coast. The current forecast would bring the threat of rain and mountain snow to Northern California early next week as a storm system dives in from the Pacific. Unfortunately, moisture may not get down into Southern California, prolonging the fire threat.

Although the rain would be welcome with open arms across California, the forecast comes with a silver lining next week. As the storm system comes ashore, gusty winds will likely accompany the system as it tracks inland, elevating the fire threat for areas that do not get any rain.After a well above-average water year across much of the West last year, this year is starting off on a much drier note. With the exception being the Northwest, much of the West Coast and Four Corners region will continue to remain dry in the coming week.

Download the free AccuWeather app to get the latest updates on the forecast and how it will affect your area. Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.



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