Rain, mountain snow forecast for the weekend

It’s going to be a wet weekend in Western Washington.

Heavy rains will hit the lowlands, possibly bringing 2 to 3 inches Saturday (Jan 17.)

National Weather Service forecasters said a warm front moving in from the tropics southwest of Hawaii will bring a lot moisture, which is good news for skiers and snowboarders.

The snow level is expected to rise to 7,000 feet by late Saturday. Most of the precipitation will be centered over Mount Rainier National Park.

The Paradise area could see up to 10 inches of snow Saturday with another 3 to 5 inches forecast for Sunday. A shortage of snow so far this year has kept park officials from opening the area to sledding.

Paradise’s snowpack is at 54 percent of normal, a drop from the 98 percent this time last year. The current snow depth at Paradise is 60 inches, according to the Northwest Avalanche Center.

With rain coming Saturday, the Weather Service warned that the Puyallup River near Orting and the Skokomish River in Mason County might see minor flooding.

Sunday will be wet, but windier.

The forecast calls for a quarter inch of rain in Tacoma with 15 to 18 mph winds. Winds in the Paradise area could reach 28 mph.

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