PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Rain and cooler temperatures in the upper 50s are forecast for Portland Friday as a weak atmospheric river moves into the area.

KOIN 6 News Meteorologist Kelley Bayern reports that showers are expected to hit the region by Friday afternoon. The rain is forecast to taper off by Saturday, but scattered thunderstorms will still be possible. More rain is in the forecast for early next week.

“Expect showers to start anytime around lunch on Friday with heavy bouts of rain Friday night through Saturday morning,” Bayern said.

The weekly forecast. | KOIN 6

The Cascades can expect to receive the first significant snowfall of the season as snow levels will drop to 3,500 feet on Saturday. Areas above 6,000 feet could see as much as 6 inches of fresh powder.

Anticipated snowfall. | KOIN 6

The precipitation is expected to bring some relief to the region after an arid start to fall has left Multnomah County and its neighboring areas in a state of “moderate” drought. While the precipitation is expected to help, Oregon state climatologist Larry O’Neill told KOIN 6 that the area will need a steady supply of rain for drought conditions to improve.

After three consecutive days of “unhealthy” air quality, the incoming weather is also set to cleanse the region’s smoky conditions. Bayern said that air quality will start to improve by Thursday night. An air quality alert remains in effect until 6 p.m.

“It’s pea soup outside,” Bayern said. “Air quality is once again starting off in the unhealthy category for much of the region this morning. Improvements are coming today as a strong onshore push helps to usher out the smoke. We should see major improvements by tonight.”