Storms Through the End of the Year in California, Southwest

By , Senior Meteorologist
December 22, 2012; 5:55 AM ET
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Storms will keep on rolling into California and the Southwest through next week, which will mean more snow for the mountains and more rain for the valleys and basins.

High pressure will slowly give way into the weekend allowing the storms to drive farther into the Southwest.

One storm will move slowly southward across the state Friday through Saturday. A second storm will plow in from the Pacific Sunday into Monday.

The storms will bring episodes of strong wind over the passes.

The combination of strong wind and heavy snow over I-80 in the Sierra Nevada and I-5 over the Siskiyou Mountains can make for whiteout conditions and possible road closures at times.

According to Western Weather Expert Ken Clark, "In the southern Cascades and northern Sierra Nevada, between 3 and 4 feet of snow are likely through the weekend."

Farther south, Clark expects between 12 and 18 inches of snow to fall over the central to southern Sierra Nevada.

"The first storm in this new series is likely to only bring spotty, light rain to Los Angeles, but a second storm could reach the basin by Monday with a general 0.50 to 1.00 inch of rain," Clark said.

Additional heavy snow will fall on the Sierra Nevada with the second storm.

Beginning with the second storm early next week, there is likely to be another dose of snow over the mountains in the Four Corners region and a least a chance of spotty showers over the deserts.

A little break from the storms will occur around Christmas in California.

Additional storms with drenching rain and heavy mountain snow are forecast to drop in from the northern Pacific prior to the start of 2013.

Motorists traveling over Donner Pass on I-80 through the holidays should expect delays and be prepared for blinding snow with each of the storms.

There is an outside chance that snow could reach down to part of the valley at Yosemite National Park, Calif., during some of the storms. Snow is in store for the mountains around the park during most of the events. ( image)


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