Western US weather
Powerful storm to slam West at end of week
By Jordan Root, AccuWeather meteorologist
A round of heavy rain, mountain snow and gusty winds will impact the Western U.S. at the end of the week, most notably Oregon and California, which will face the worst impacts.
Let's take a look at some of the players on the field for this storm. The first is a very strong jet stream across the Pacific Ocean. The image below shows winds about 35,000 feet aloft in the atmosphere. Notice the colors across the Central Pacific. Winds were initialized near 200 mph this morning for the GFS model run. Impressive!
This jet will weaken a bit heading into the end of the week but it will still be strong and will help rapidly strengthen a surface low that will track near the northwestern California Coast and northward along the Northwest U.S. coastline.
This strong low pressure system will develop a strong southwesterly flow that will pull a stream of anomalously high moisture from the tropics, which is known as an atmospheric river.
The combination of these strong winds and surge of moisture will lead to a rather potent storm system for Oregon and northern and central California late Thursday through Saturday.
Very strong winds are expected with gusts up to 70 mph along the north-central California coast to the Washington coast. These winds will be able to cause damage. Wind gusts of 50 to 60 mph are likely elsewhere across Oregon, Nevada, and northern California.
Rainfall amounts of 3 to 6 inches are expected across the Coastal Range and foothills of the Cascades and Sierra Nevada. This, plus additional water from melting snow in the mountains, will lead to quick stream and river rises and possible flooding in some locations.
While snow levels initially will be high, they will fall through Saturday. The heaviest snow will occur across the Sierra where a few feet will fall by Saturday.
There will be a reinforcing storm system that will swing into northern California late Friday which will produce another round of heavier precipitation. There will also be the threat for thunderstorms and even some small hail.
Outside of a few showers Friday night into Saturday, Southern California will miss out on most of the unsettled weather.
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Western US weather
Western US weather - May 22, 2019, 1:34:07 PM EDT
It's been an unusually stormy May across the West with constant storms, but it looks like the pattern will start to change as we enter the final days of May.
Western US weather - May 17, 2019, 9:36:05 AM EDT
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Western US weather - May 13, 2019, 6:46:15 AM EDT
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Downpours, thunderstorms threaten to bring flash flooding to parts of the Southwest into the weekend
Western US weather - May 09, 2019, 1:03:26 PM EDT
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