Wind, Rain, Storms to Impact West This Week

By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
April 22, 2014; 3:07 PM
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A potent area of low pressure moving into the West will dictate the weather from Washington to Texas heading into the new week.

The biggest impacts will be felt on Tuesday and Wednesday as the system delivers rain, snow, howling winds and severe thunderstorms to different portions of the West.

Folks in the Northwest and the Rockies will want to keep their umbrellas handy both days as the slow-moving system spreads rain across the regions with some showers even dipping down into central California.

The Cascades and Sierras are also expected to pick up some snow as well as the higher elevations of the Rockies.

While moisture from this system will fail to reach the Southwest, it will still bring howling winds to parts of the region with wind gusts topping 40 mph.

The combination of these strong winds and the unusually dry weather will result in a heightened risk of wildfires from Nevada to New Mexico on Tuesday.

This area is expected to expand eastward heading into Wednesday, reaching into western Texas and northward into Colorado and Wyoming.

If you are in the area being influenced by these gusty winds, you should take extra precautions to help prevent wildfires.

Most wildfires in the United States are caused by humans. Even a smoldering cigarette can be enough to start a fire given the right conditions.

In addition to the threat of wildfires, these winds may also kick up a few dust storms.

Visibility can be significantly reduced for several hours as these storms pass through, making travel near impossible.

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While rain dampens the Northwest and winds whip the Four Corners, a different type of weather looks to develop over the Plains.

Following a dry Tuesday, severe weather will erupt from Nebraska to western Texas on Wednesday afternoon and continue into Wednesday night.

Storms that develop in this area will have the potential to produce damaging winds, large hail and even a few tornadoes.

Looking ahead to the second half of the week, settled weather looks to make a return to much of the West as the low pressure system tracks eastward.

However, another batch of rain may move into the Pacific Northwest right on the heels of this system.

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