Snow to Spread Southward, Eastward over Rockies, Plains

By , Expert Senior Meteorologist
December 07, 2012; 4:19 AM
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Depending on the path of a storm over the northern Pacific Ocean, a storm could bring accumulating snow to the southern Rockies and parts of the Plains this weekend. Cold air is forecast to begin a southward drive over the Rockies and Plains late this week. A storm will ride this push of cold air this weekend, enhancing snow in some of the traditional upslope areas of the High Plains and along the front ranges of the Rockies.

However, enough moisture and energy from the storm will be centered far enough west and south to bring snow to the mountains of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and southern Colorado. Areas of snow will also break out farther east over the northern Plains to the Upper Midwest.

A general swath of 1- to 3-inch snowfall will reach along I-90 from along the Wyoming/Montana border to southwestern Minnesota spanning Friday and Friday night. Exactly much snow falls in all of these areas through the duration of the event will depend on the track of the initial storm as well as how and if the storm fragments into multiple parts negotiating the Rockies.

At this point, there is the potential for snow to fall on the ski slopes in the southern Rockies and perhaps enough to cause travel problems in and to some extent east of the Rockies over the Central states.

There is a chance of a little snow for Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo Saturday night into Sunday with other cities in the region joining in sooner or later farther west, north, south and east.

According to Western Weather Expert Ken Clark, "In addition to the snow for portions of the Rockies, much of the Great Basin will experience temperatures 25 to 50 degrees lower than what has been occurring recently."

Heavy snow will fall over parts of the northern Rockies and Cascades into Friday.

Near and south and west of the storm track, winds will kick up over the deserts, mountains and passes in the Southwest. There is the potential for areas of blowing dust, dangerous cross winds and damaging gusts, ahead of and south of the area of snow, depending on the intensity of the storm.

More details on the snow and wind will follow as the week progresses, as will the potential for any severe thunderstorms over the Central states.

The storm forecast to traverse the Rockies this weekend was acting as the anchor for the siege of storms that began along the West Coast during the last week.

Thumbnail image of snow in New Mexico by Photos.com.

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