The storm that is bringing big changes along the West Coast the next few days will actually have the greatest weather impact farther east.
Snow will develop Thursday afternoon in western Montana and eastern Idaho and will grow in coverage and intensity Thursday night and Friday. By late Thursday night and Friday, a full-fledged blizzard will be occurring across parts of north-central and western Montana with heavy snow and strong winds causing blowing snow and reduced visibility. Snow is likely to continue Friday night into Saturday even as the heaviest snow shifts more toward eastern Montana and parts of North Dakota. Snowfall in many of the low elevations of Montana will be 7 to 15 inches with local amounts of 1 to 2 feet in the mountains
Farther south, the Wasatch and western Uinta Mountains will get hit hard too, just a little later. Snow will develop Friday and continue into Saturday with 1 to 2 feet at ski resorts and local amounts higher. Rain will change to snow and accumulate in the Salt Lake Basin as temperatures plummet during the day Friday. Early indications are for 2 to 4 inches with 6 to 8 inches possible on the Benches. Snow will also fall farther south down the Wasatch and into the Cedar City area. Accumulating snow also is likely in parts of southern Idaho and into Wyoming and Colorado with the heaviest snow in eastern Idaho and western Wyoming.
If you are planning on travel into these areas, plan ahead for winter driving conditions and carry chains and plenty of cold weather gear.
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The northwestern U.S. will continue to get pounded with rain, wind and snow this week as several storm systems move through. The second half of the week will turn more active for California as the storms dip farther south.
Another storm system will arrive in the Northwest Saturday night bringing more snow as chilly air remains in place.
Two storm systems will deliver mountain snow and rain to the Northwest and California over the next few days.
Gusty winds will continue into Monday across California but winds will gradually weaken. A late week storm will bring cooler air and rain to the state.
Cool air will descend across the Northwest with mountain snow expected at times through Friday. Episodes of gusty winds will continue to threaten California.
A strong storm system will bring chilly air, rain and mountain snow into the northern Rockies towards the end of the week.
We have a couple things to watch for through the weekend and into next week across the West.