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Pair Of Storms To Bring Colder Air, Snow To Interior Western US Into Next Week

Two storms will cause a shift in weather patterns that will allow cooler and unsteadier conditions to dominate the region

Two storms moving into the western United States will usher in a pattern change that will allow cooler, more unsettled weather to take over the region as well as bring the threat of disruptive, accumulating snow across the Great Basin and Four Corners, according to AccuWeather forecasters.

The moisture from the storms will continue to help California and the rest of the West combat ongoing drought conditions, while the unsettled conditions could impact early workouts for Major League Baseball’s spring training in Arizona, which begins next week.

This weekend’s storm will be the precursor to the main course, a larger and icier storm that is anticipated to engulf the whole West. ACCUWEATHER

The first storm will arrive this weekend and act as an appetizer to the main dish: a bigger and chillier storm that is expected to sweep through the entire West and into the Rockies during the early and middle part of next week, which will lock in the colder, unsettled weather for a few days.

Meteorologists say umbrellas and an extra layer or two will be needed this weekend as the first storm moves south through California. It will bring rain showers to the San Francisco Bay Area from Friday night into early Saturday then to Southern California from late Saturday into Sunday. A few showers will also dampen California’s Central Valley, mainly on Saturday.

Ahead of and along with the rain, high temperatures will drop about 10 to 15 degrees. ACCUWEATHER

In San Francisco, for example, high temperatures that were in the mid-60s on Thursday will drop into the mid-50s by Saturday. In Los Angeles and San Diego, temperatures will tumble from the mid- to upper 70s on Friday into the lower 60s over the weekend. Nighttime lows will be chilly, even dipping into the low to mid-40s for Los Angeles, which is several degrees below average for mid-February.

While only a few tenths of an inch of rain are forecast for both the Bay Area and Los Angeles basin, any amount of rain can cause travel slowdowns this weekend. That said, any additional rainfall is good news in the state’s battle against the long-term drought, as the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report released on Thursday still showed moderate to severe drought conditions over much of the state.

Although the most recent U.S. Drought Monitor report, released on Thursday, still indicated moderate to severe drought conditions over much of the state, rainfall is welcome news in the state’s fight against the long-term drought. ACCUWEATHER

Since the first storm will follow a path near the coast, little snow is forecast for the Sierra Nevada mountain range, but snow levels will drop noticeably in the mountains around Los Angeles over the weekend. A few inches of snow can accumulate at elevations as low as 3,500 feet , and there is even a chance of a light, slushy accumulation of snow along Interstate 5 through the Grapevine.

“As the storm moves south, it will strengthen and get even colder,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Heather Zehr. “This will bring snow levels down enough for slippery travel through the Southern California passes.”

By Monday and Monday night, the first storm will exit California and pivot through Arizona and New Mexico, bringing little rain and mountain snow showers, along with chillier air.

The next storm will prove more significant in terms of the extent of the chillier weather and accumulating snow as it will be larger in scale and last for a couple of days.

It will first impact the Pacific Northwest from Sunday night through Monday night, bringing the prospects of accumulating snow to areas around Seattle and Portland. The threat of snow and slippery road conditions will then expand into the Great Basin, higher elevations of California and northern Rockies into early Tuesday. Eventually, the storm will sweep into the Four Corners region and central Rockies later Tuesday and Wednesday as the cold air expands.

“The unusually cold air mass accompanying the storm will encompass much of the West by Wednesday, even into the interior Desert Southwest,” added Zehr.

Cities such as Reno, Nevada; Salt Lake City; Flagstaff, Arizona; and Casper, Wyoming; could be digging out from several inches of snow by midweek. “With snow levels potentially down to 2,000 feet , there is also the potential for at least some snow [to reach] lower elevations than usual,” said Zehr. “Some of the higher terrain around the Four Corners may pick up a foot or two of snow.”

The same storm will move farther east across the Plains, Midwest and southern U.S. later next week, bringing another round of snow, heavy rain and severe weather to these parts of the country.

The moisture and chill will coincide with the reporting time for MLB teams who are beginning spring training in Arizona. With most teams clustered around the Phoenix metropolitan area, a few chilly rain showers can be expected Monday, and again on Wednesday, with morning temperatures in the 40s, and afternoon highs mainly in the 50s. Average highs in this area are around 70 degrees in mid-February.

By late next week, temperatures will start to rebound across the West and drier weather will return as high pressure builds in, AccuWeather forecasters say.

Produced in association with AccuWeather.

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