Snow from western US to streak onto northern Plains at midweek

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
April 17, 2018, 7:40:06 AM EDT

The same storm kicking off the week with snow over parts of the western United States will return a narrow swath of snow to the northern Plains at midweek.

Following Saturday’s record rainfall in Seattle and other communities in western Washington, a storm is expected to sweep from the West Coast to the Rockies into Tuesday.

While no rain will reach Southern California, showers and heavier bouts of rain will dampen the I-5 corridor from Bakersfield, California, to Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington.

Thunderstorms capable of producing small hail may also rumble across northern and Central California.

Static Tuesday NW

The wind and snow associated with the storm may prove more problematic for travelers across the Intermountain West.

Falling snow levels will bring snow and difficult travel to most passes. This includes I-90’s Snoqualmie Pass and I-80’s Donner Pass.

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Occasional snow is in store for I-5’s Siskiyou Pass, but any light snow during the day would struggle to stick to the highway. Freezing fog will be a problem for motorists heading over the I-5 pass.

"As cooler air pours in, 1-2 inches of snow can whiten Salt Lake City later Monday night into Tuesday morning," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rossio said. "The majority of the snow will be on grassy and elevated surfaces."

Rossio anticipates heavier snow and more travel problems in the neighboring Wasatch Mountains.

Ahead of the snow in Utah, strong winds will develop from the deserts of California to Arizona, Utah and Wyoming.

Static Snow Midwest

In addition to creating dangerous crosswinds and blowing dust for motorists, the winds will significantly heighten the fire danger across the Desert Southwest.

The storm will emerge onto the Plains at midweek with rain or a wintry mix at its onset. Enough cold air may then plunge into the western side of the storm for a changeover to snow.

However, the impacts from this storm are not expected to be as extensive as the weekend’s blizzard.

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