Powerful Storm Will Bring Snow, Rain and Strong Winds for U.S. Through This Weekend

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Rapidly Intensifying Storm to Bring Snow, Rain, Strong Winds from Coast to Coast
Meteorologist Danielle Banks has the latest forecast on the storm system moving into the West and bringing snow, rain and gusty winds.

A powerful storm is moving into southern Oregon and Northern California.

This storm has become a bomb cyclone due to its incredibly fast rate of intensification.
The storm will then move slowly through the West into late this week with snow, rain and gusty winds.
Snow and wind from this storm will move into the Northern Plains and upper Midwest late this week into the weekend.
Wintry weather could push into parts of the Northeast over the weekend.

Snow, rain and strong winds will make travel conditions difficult in parts of the West this week from an expansive storm that will slowly spread toward the central and eastern United States into this weekend.

Happening Now

The intense storm is moving into Oregon and Northern California. This storm has undergone bombogenesis, with its minimum central pressure dropping 38 millibars in just 21 hours, far exceeding the criteria of 24 millibars within 24 hours to be deemed a bomb cyclone. This means that the storm is unusually intense and capable of producing high winds.

Case in point, Cape Blanco, Oregon – the notoriously windy spot on the Pacific Northwest coast – recorded a sustained wind of 85 mph with a gust to 106 mph early Tuesday afternoon.

The National Weather Service in Eureka, California, said thousands of people were without power in northwestern California, as the strong winds had taken down trees and power lines across the region.

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Forecast Timing

Into Tuesday Night

The powerful area of low pressure will push inland near the border between Oregon and California.

The intensity of this storm is potentially historic for southwestern Oregon and northwestern California, the National Weather Service said.

Strong winds gusting over 70 mph will punch into southwestern Oregon and northwestern California. The winds could cause tree damage and power outages in some areas.

Snowfall will pick up in the Sierra Nevada and Cascades, as well as the higher terrain of Northern California, particularly above 1,500 feet in elevation. The snowfall will make travel conditions dangerous on Interstate 80 in the Sierra and Interstate 5 in the mountains of Northern California and southern Oregon.

Rain will also spread southward to the San Francisco Bay Area and the rest of Northern California. This will be the first significant rain of the season for these areas.

Wednesday-Wednesday Night

The slow-moving storm will affect areas from California to the interior West, bringing rain and snow.

Snow will fall in the upper foothills of the Sierra Nevada and down to valley floors of the interior West. Interstate 80 will be impacted by snowfall from the Sierra Nevada to Utah, including Salt Lake City.

Soaking rain will move into Southern California, but rainfall totals will not be excessive in most areas. Major debris flows are unlikely unless a thunderstorm with higher rainfall rates moves over a burn area.

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Snow levels will also begin to fall as low as 4,500 feet in the mountains of Southern California by Wednesday night.

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Thursday-Thursday Night

Snow will fall at elevations as low as 2,500 to 3,000 feet in the mountains of Southern California on Thanksgiving Day. The snowfall will impact travel on Interstate 5 through the Grapevine, Interstate 15 through Cajon Pass and Interstate 8 in the mountains of San Diego County.

Showers and isolated thunderstorms are likely from the valleys of Southern California to southern Arizona and southern New Mexico. Localized flash flooding is possible in any thunderstorms that develop in Southern California.

Snow will also spread through the Rockies, including down to the valley floors in some areas.

The storm will begin to spread light snow, freezing rain and sleet from parts of New Mexico into the Texas Panhandle and the Central Plains.

Friday-Friday Night

Snow will continue across much of the interior West on Friday from northern Arizona and northern New Mexico to Montana. This will affect travel down to valley floors in some areas.

Rain and snow should begin to taper off in California.

Snow and increasing winds will also develop in parts of the Northern Plains and upper Midwest, but details are still uncertain.

Severe thunderstorms are possible on the warm side of this storm. At this time, areas from north-central Texas into Oklahoma and south-central Kansas have the greatest chance of experiencing severe weather.

Saturday-Saturday Night

The sprawling storm will continue to bring more snow and wind to the Northern Plains and upper Midwest on Saturday. Blizzard conditions could impact parts of the Northern Plains, including the Dakotas.

Snow, sleet and freezing rain might also develop in portions of the Northeast, especially in the interior by Saturday night.

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Rain and thunderstorms will likely spread through parts of the lower Mississippi, mid-Mississippi and Ohio valleys.