If you’re traveling across the Cascades on your way home from Thanksgiving weekend, the National Weather Service advises you to make that drive Saturday.

On Sunday, a strong cold front is expected to drench mountain passes, reducing visibility and creating some ponding on highway surfaces, according to a “Special Weather Statement.”

Five to 8 inches of rain are forecast in the Cascades from Saturday night to early Monday morning, creating a risk of minor to moderate flooding along Western Washington rivers, the weather service says. A flood watch will be in effect from Sunday afternoon to Monday afternoon in King, Snohomish, Pierce, Thurston, Lewis and Mason counties.

Even if you’re not out on the highways, it’s time to wrap the pipes, get out your wool sweater and maybe start using the fireplace again because no burn bans are in effect in the Seattle metro area. The soggy Pacific storm on Sunday is expected to be replaced by a blast of cold air coming down from the Canadian interior on Monday.

Temperatures in Puget Sound cities are forecast to drop just below freezing Monday night, and plunge into the 20s on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

Josh Smith of the weather service said the best chance of snow in the lowlands may come Monday night, when there’s a 50 percent chance that snow will fall in Seattle. Some areas could see up to 2 inches of snow, but many areas may not have any snow at all.

Smith said snowfall and snow accumulations are particularly difficult to forecast, and people should check for an updated forecast before traveling.

After the Monday rain/snow mix, things dry out, according to the forecast.

In the Seattle area, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are expected to be sunny but chilly, with high temperatures in the mid-30s.

Jack Broom: jbroom@seattletimes.com

or 206-464-2222