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    Cold Storm to Bring White Thanksgiving to Portions of Western US

    By By Brett Rathbun, AccuWeather.com Meteorologist
    November 25, 2015, 6:48:52 AM EST

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    Rain, snow and cold air will return to the Northwestern states into Thanksgiving.

    A storm system will dive southward along the West Coast into Tuesday night before tracking eastward across the Rockies during Wednesday into Thanksgiving Day.

    The strength and track of this storm system will determine which locations receive the heaviest snowfall on the cold side of this system.

    The amount of moisture available with this system will be much less than the previous storms this month across the Pacific Northwest. While much of the lower elevations will deal with periods of rain through Tuesday, the threat for flash flooding will be low.

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    Much of the precipitation along the Interstate 5 corridor from Seattle to Portland, Oregon, will be in the form of rain into Tuesday night.

    A steady snow will blanket the Oregon Cascades. Significant snowfall will also occur across the Bitterroot Mountains of Idaho and western Montana as well as the Sierra Nevada.

    As this system tracks south and east this week, a shot of cold air from Canada will dive across the region behind this storm. This will allow snowflakes to make an appearance across some of the lower elevations for the first time this season.


    “The low elevations east of the Cascades have an opportunity to receive accumulating snow into Wednesday, especially in eastern Oregon," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.

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    Those traveling for Thanksgiving across the Northwest through Tuesday should give yourself extra time to reach your destination as roads will be wet or perhaps snow-covered and icy.

    Anyone waiting to travel on Wednesday should see improving conditions across the Pacific Northwest as the storm will set its sights across the northern and central Rockies into Nevada. Those traveling in these areas may want to consider leaving before Wednesday before the storm approaches.

    “The snow will focus on the corridor from Montana and Wyoming to eastern Oregon and the Sierra on Wednesday,” Pydynowski said.


    Plowable snow could accumulate across the northern Rockies including Billings, Montana; Casper, Wyoming; and Salt Lake City on Wednesday into Wednesday night.

    The best opportunity for snowflakes to make an appearance in Boise, Idaho, is on Wednesday. Snow is expected to accumulate mainly on non-paved surfaces, but roads could become snow covered.

    Overnight low temperatures will plunge near or below freezing across much of the Western states into Thanksgiving. Locations along the Pacific Coast will remain above freezing.

    Anyone traveling after dark will need to use caution as wet roads could start to freeze.


    Daytime high temperatures across much of the northern and central Rockies will fail to reach the freezing mark on Wednesday and Thursday. This will not allow all of the snow that falls this week to melt before the Thanksgiving holiday.

    Those flying for the holiday across the West should keep checking your airline for any possible delays or cancellations.

    Snow showers could continue to occur across portions of the central Rockies on Thanksgiving Day.

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