Drivers in the North Cascades should prepare for slippery roads and limited visibility from snow and sleet, while rain will drench lowlands across the region.

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Meteorologists are warning of slick roads and limited visibility Tuesday as a winter storm sweeps Western Washington, drenching the lowlands with rain and dumping up to 3 feet of snow on Mount Rainier.

From Snohomish to Lewis counties, the National Weather Service issued a “winter storm watch” in the North Cascades, urging drivers to take precaution with oncoming snow and sleet beginning Tuesday morning.

Elevations above 2,000 feet could accumulate 1 to 2 feet of snow, with Mount Rainier seeing more.

Meanwhile, cities across the western lowlands will accumulate various amounts of rain, including up to 1 inch possible across the Seattle area, said Johnny Burg, a meteorologist for the service.

“It’s going to be wet tomorrow, and in the Cascades, it’s going to be a lot snow,” said Johnny Burg, a meteorologist for the service. “Travel will be affected.”

Drivers in the mountains, such as Stevens Pass and Snoqualmie Pass, should prepare for difficult conditions by packing an emergency kit, including flashlights and a spare cellphone charger, among other essentials. Call 511 or check the Washington Department of Transportation’s website for the latest roadway conditions.

Meteorologists expect the heaviest snow in the afternoon and evening, with Mount Rainier tallying the most. Paradise could receive some 3 feet by Wednesday morning, the winter-storm watch says.

Also, strong winds between 20 to 35 mph, with gusts near 45, could challenge drivers and threaten power lines and trees in San Juan County and the Admiralty Inlet area Tuesday, according to the service.

The storm’s moisture in Seattle Tuesday will kick off a series of wet and cloudy days, as the forecast calls for a chance of rain, at least in the form of showers, through Sunday.

A parade of storms is lined up over the Pacific Ocean, as seen in composite satellite imagery. The systems will arrive in North America over the coming days. (NASA)
A parade of storms is lined up over the Pacific Ocean, as seen in composite satellite imagery. The systems will arrive in North America over the coming days. (NASA)

In addition to rain, meteorologists expect wind speeds between 7 to 9 mph on Tuesday and 13 to 15 mph, with gusts up to 21 mph, on Wednesday.

High temperatures for the week will mostly be in the upper 40s, according to the service’s forecast.

This weather comes after an unusually dry and sunny series of days last week, snapping records for warmth, including the highest temperature ever recorded by the service in January, 64 degrees.