Western Weather to Undergo Changes This Week

By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
May 5, 2014; 4:38 AM ET
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Play video A look at the weather forecast for the Northwestern United States.

The new week will bring big changes to the West after a hot and dry start to May.

A low pressure system tracking across the region will be the driving force behind these changes, spreading rain, mountain snow and howling winds over different portions of the West.

Those in the Pacific Northwest may want to keep their umbrellas handy on Sunday and Monday as the system slowly moves onshore and spreads rain across the region.

Most of the moisture associated with this low pressure system is expected to miss California and stay north of Arizona and New Mexico.

The dry conditions paired with howling winds in the interior Southwest will contribute to a heightened risk of wildfires both on Tuesday and Wednesday.

People in these areas are urged take extra precautions to help prevent wildfires. A controlled burn can quickly become a fire burning over several acres under these conditions.

In addition to precipitation and gusty winds on Tuesday and Wednesday, this system is forecast to usher cooler air across the West with widespread temperatures in the 60s and 70s. This is a big change from the widespread 80s and 90s that challenged records in dozens of cities late last week.

However, the deserts of the Southwest can still expect highs in the 80s, only a few degrees below normal high temperatures this time of year.

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Looking ahead to the latter part of this week, the system responsible for the unsettled weather will progress eastward over the Plains.

This will result in near-normal temperatures and calmer winds for the West with only a few spotty showers lingering over the Rocky Mountains.

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