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Train of storms to bring disruptive weather for the West into December

By Mary Gilbert, Accuweather.com
Heavy snow is anticipated in the Cascade Mountains of the Pacific Northwest as disruptive weather targets the region. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Heavy snow is anticipated in the Cascade Mountains of the Pacific Northwest as disruptive weather targets the region. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

A train of storms will roll across the northwestern United States through much of the upcoming week, ushering in widespread rain and snow, forecasters said Saturday.

The next in a long line of disruptive storms is set to drop into the Pacific Northwest late Saturday into Sunday morning.

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"As the storm moves through the area, it will bring a push of colder air and lowering snow levels across Washington and Oregon," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski explained.

Precipitation will arrive in the form of rain for far western portions of Washington and Oregon, including cities like Seattle and Portland, but it will be a completely different story in the Cascades where heavy snow is anticipated.

"Over a foot of snowfall could impact major passes across Washington Saturday night through Sunday, including Snoqualmie Pass along Interstate 90," Pydynowski cautioned.

While much of the heaviest snow will fall in the highest elevations, considerable snowfall at pass levels can work to snarl travel on one of the busiest travel days of the Thanksgiving weekend. Even outside of the highest elevations, snow can mix with rain at times across eastern Washington and portions of Idaho, creating potentially slushy travel.

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"This storm will lead to difficult travel for those heading home from visiting friends and family over the Thanksgiving holiday," Pydynowski said.

As the storm continues to push across the interior West early in the upcoming week, winterlike weather will overspread a vast swath of the country.

By Monday, accumulating snow is forecast to reach into the central Rockies as snow showers elsewhere coat portions of Nebraska, Utah and Northern California. Rain showers will also occur across similar areas on Monday.

Once Tuesday rolls around, a further expansion of precipitation is in the forecast. Rain and snow showers will reach portions of Arizona and New Mexico while snow begins to sweep out of the Rockies and into the High Plains.

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Accumulating snow is set to target a swath of the central and northern Plains through Tuesday and bring a fresh blanket of powder to places like Rapid City, S.D., and portions of Interstate 90.

Once this storm ejects out of the West and makes its way across the country around midweek, forecasters say residents will not be able to breathe a sigh of relief just yet.

"Cold air will remain locked in place across much of the Northwest, northern Rockies and Intermountain West for the upcoming week," Pydynowski noted.

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With this cold air in place, any additional storms set to move into the West will have plenty of opportunity for additional snow.

"While the active stretch of weather through the first half of next week will largely target the Northwest, there is the potential for another storm during the latter half of the week to spread rain and mountain snow southward through California," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham said.

Additionally, forecasters are monitoring a potential setup that could bring a substantial enhancement to precipitation later in the upcoming week.

"At this point, there are a lot of pieces of the forecast that still need to come together, but there is the potential for an atmospheric river event which could yield heavy rain and mountain snow later this week," Buckingham cautioned. "Residents across California will want to monitor the forecast closely, as this could impact day-to-day plans."

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