Western US snow to bring delight to skiers, disruptions to travelers into Thursday

By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
February 15, 2018, 12:53:13 PM EST

A fresh round of mountain snow will fall over the northwestern United States into Thursday, giving a boost to ski resorts, but also posing disruptions to motorists.

The rainy side of the storm on Wednesday night was fairly uneventful, with only spotty showers dotting the Interstate-5 corridor from Seattle to Portland, Oregon.

To the delight of ski enthusiasts and fans of other winter sports, much more precipitation will continue to fall in the form of snow.

Static Mountain Snow West 3 pm

The Cascades, Blue Mountains, Bitterroots and other various ranges in the northern half of the Rockies can expect a significant covering of fresh snow.

“Several inches of snow are expected in the northern Rockies before spreading south and east through the central Rockies and northern Plains by Thursday,” Boston said.

The highest terrain will be buried with a foot or more of fresh powder.

Jackson Hole and Big Sky ski resorts will get a further boost to their already healthy snow pack.

Spokane, Washington, is likely to receive its biggest snowfall since Jan. 11, when 6.3 inches fell. Enough snow to shovel, plow and disrupt daily routines is in store for the city at midweek.

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Snow-covered roads and reduced visibility will make for difficult driving conditions, including on stretches of interstates 15, 90 and 94. Secondary roads, especially in rural areas, may become impassable.

Lane restrictions, chain requirements and closures are possible over Snoqualmie Pass.

Anyone venturing into back country areas to camp, ski or hike will need to be prepared for extended periods of heavy snowfall, gusty winds and low visibility conditions.

While Denver will not be subject to a plowable snow, the city will experience another round of plunging temperatures and a rapid freeze-up on Thursday night, which can lead to isolated icy spots.

Significant snow is not forecast for the Sierra Nevada with this event.

Another opportunity for significant snowfall in the Northwest will arrive over the weekend.

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