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    Winds Wail on the Northwest Coast, Snow Blasts Mountains

    March 2, 2011; 10:00 AM ET
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    A series of storms will close in on the West Coast today. The result will be a stormy, unsettled day from California into Canada.

    While rainy weather will settle in along much of the West Coast, those areas along the coastlines of Washington and Oregon are also in for powerful winds. The howling winds picked up overnight ahead of the storm and will continue in these areas for much of the day.

    Wind gusts more than 70 mph in the region could push high-profile vehicles around on roadways and could even down trees or lead to sporadic power outages. While the rain will not be coming down in torrents, the windswept rain could also significantly reduce visibilities at times, making travel treacherous.

    The storms will also deposit snow in the mountains of the West. The heaviest accumulations are expected in the Cascades of Washington and southern Coast Mountains in British Columbia. Snowfall totals will be on the order of 6 to 12 inches, with more than a foot possible on some of the peaks in British Columbia.

    Lighter accumulations will blanket the northern Rockies and southern British Columbia. With milder air flowing northward ahead of the storm, a slushy mix of rain and snow could still create slick road conditions from southern Idaho into northwestern Nevada for a time today.

    Colder air arriving on the Northwest coast tonight will even allow snowflakes to mix in with the rain from Seattle, Wash., to Medford, Ore., overnight.

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