New forecast calls for less snow in passes

SEATTLE (AP) - A new forecast has reduced the amount of expected snow in the mountain passes for Sunday.

Earlier models had shown the possibility of 12 to 18 inches in the Cascade mountain passes as Sunday evening transitioned into night, prompting warnings from the National Weather Service for people driving home after the Thanksgiving weekend.

But the amount of snow will be only a few inches and not fall until Sunday night, meteorologist Josh Smith said. Smith, however, added that drivers should be wary of heavy rain, though.

That "could be hazardous on the roads," Smith said.

While it's expected to snow fewer inches in the passes on Sunday, the forecast still calls for a possibility of snow in the lowlands.

Smith said that if the moisture that a front is bringing to the region hangs on to Monday night, when temperatures begin to drop, as much as 1 to 2 inches could accumulate in some areas in Western Washington.

"We're not looking at a widespread snow event," Smith said.

The heavy rains expected could cause some minor to moderate flooding in rivers coming off the Cascade Mountains, such as the Snoqualmie and Tolt rivers.

The same front that will bring heavy rain and snow to Western Washington will bring warmer temperatures to Central and Eastern Washington, said meteorologist Laurie Nisbet. Cities like Wenatchee, Moses Lake and Pullman could see temperatures rise to the 50s.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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