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    Ken Clark

    Calmer Southwest/Strong Storm North

    2/20/2013, 11:36:46 PM

    The big, cold storm that brought rain and low-elevation snow to California yesterday into this morning and today across Arizona will leave Arizona tonight. It will then bring a foot or more of snow tonight and tomorrow over the central Plains and severe weather tomorrow to portions of the western Gulf States.

    The Southwest looks like it should stay precipitation-free for the most part through next week. There will be a couple of inside sliders, but these should not bring any precipitation of importance to much of California and Arizona except for maybe a few mountain snow showers on one or two occasions. There also could be a round of Santa Ana winds Saturday night and Sunday in Southern California.

    However, a cold and rather powerful storm will quickly move through the Pacific Northwest Friday night and into Idaho and northern Utah late Friday night and Saturday. This will bring mountain areas in Washington and Oregon a period of moderate to heavy snow along with strong winds that can accumulate 6 to 12 inches with local higher amounts possible. Similar accumulations are likely in the mountains of southern Idaho and the northern and central Wasatch Range late Friday night and Saturday though the northern Wasatch can pick up local amounts of 2 feet. Here too strong winds are likely. Valley floor areas below 4,500 feet will probably have rain, or rain and snow, until the storm moves through with snow showers likely behind it along with gusty winds.

    This same storm will spread snow into Colorado ski country Saturday night and Sunday.

    The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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    Western US weather expert