Freezing rain causes Ice Storm Warning; heavy rain to batter lowlands

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SEATTLE -- Sleet and freezing rain are making travel tough over the mountain passes Tuesday morning, and heavy rain is going to batter the lowlands for next two days.

The rain has started falling around western Washington, but heavier precipitation arrives closer to 5 p.m. and will continue through early Wednesday.

Q13 meteorologist Rebecca Stevenson says an Ice Storm Warning goes until 4 p.m. Wednesday for the East Slopes of the Cascades. Ice accumulation up to 0.50" is forecast which may bring power outages and road closures. Vancouver, Portland and areas around the Columbia Gorge are also under an Ice Storm Warning. Freezing Rain and Ice are impacting all of eastern and central Washington state today.

High temperatures will be in the upper 40s to low 50s both Tuesday and Wednesday with locally heavy rain.

Flood watches are in effect for rivers flowing off the Olympic and North Cascade mountains.

Wind Advisory through Wednesday for north Washington and on the coast, gusts up to 50 mph.

An Avalanche Warning and Watch are in effect for Cascades of Washington along with a Winter Weather Advisory for Central Cascades. Snow levels lifting to 7000 feet are causing the dangers of snow packed mountains and travel is impacted through passes.

Wednesday night - Thursday heavy rain will break to rain at times for western Washington. A gradual cooling of temperatures will return highs to the mid 40's. Wind will be breezy.

Friday through the weekend temperatures and snow levels are close to normal with lows in the mid 30s, highs in the mid 40s. Rain showers are expected each day.