The season's first decent snow is expected to fall in the Cascades this weekend as rain and wind pummel the Seattle area and swells sweep along the Pacific Coast.

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The season’s first decent snow is expected to fall in the Cascades this weekend as rain and wind pummel the Seattle area and swells sweep along the Pacific Coast.

Mountain passes above 4,000 feet are expected to get 2 to 6 inches of snowfall, according to Johnny Burg, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Snoqualmie Pass likely won’t be heavily affected, Burg said, but drivers crossing the pass should begin preparing for wintry weather and carry blankets, flashlights and flares.

The state Department of Transportation is encouraging drivers to use chains or all-season tires that provide traction and are legal for year-round use. Studded tires are legal for use only between Nov. 1 and March 31.

The snow will also cause the transportation department to close the last three miles of Mount Baker Highway on Monday, making this the last weekend to visit Artist Point at Mount Baker.

In the Seattle area, it’s expected to rain through Saturday morning, then pick up again Saturday night.

“That’s when the stronger system comes in with even heavier rain,” Burg said.

Sunday, 15- to 25-mph winds are expected to blow in from the south. The stormy weather may continue through Monday.

There’s also a flood watch this weekend along the Washington coast with the possibility of 25- to 35-foot swells. The Coast Guard is reminding boaters and beachgoers to be careful this weekend.

Carly Flandro: 206-464-2108 or cflandro@seattletimes.com