Late storm en route

Heavy rain and possibly snow are expected starting Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

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WALLA WALLA -- Just when you thought it was safe to start wearing shorts.

A late-season storm on its way here is expected to bring rain and possibly snow starting Friday.

According to the National Weather Service, clouds are expected to increase tonight followed by rain and gusty winds Friday and Friday night.

A combination of warm and cold fronts arriving Friday will bring "significant amounts" of rain to lower terrain and moderate snow accumulations to the east slopes of the central and southern Washington Cascades and the Blue Mountains, according to the weather service.

Winds could gust as high as 40 mph Friday and will continue gusty through Friday night. The precipitation is expected to taper off Saturday, but chances of rain or snow will continue through the weekend.

Temperatures are expected to remain above freezing, but will drop into the mid-30s during the night and stay in the mid-40s to low 50s during the day.

The late-season storms have prompted transportation officials in Washington and Oregon to extend the deadline on removing studded tires one week. The last day studded tires will be allowed in both states is now April 10.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318. Check out his blog at blogs.ublabs.org/randomthoughts.

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