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Snow to Blanket I-80, I-90 Corridors in West for Christmas

By By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
December 27, 2014, 2:12:07 AM EST

People who are dreaming of a white Christmas across the Intermountain West may see their dreams come true, while travelers will face some difficulties due to slippery roads.

A blanket of snow will affect the Cascades as well as areas from Idaho and northern Nevada into part of the Plains.

Those west of the Cascades from Seattle through Medford, Oregon, can count on rain rather than snow, washing away the hopes of having a white Christmas.

However, this storm is not expected to bring nearly as much rain as the storm that soaked the region over the weekend.


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The storm began to impact western Washington on Tuesday. Rain and inland snow will expand from the Northwest to the Rockies through Wednesday night.

This can lead to poor travel conditions and an inconvenience for the last-minute holiday shoppers.

Motorists heading over Donner Pass, California, along Interstate 80 should be prepared for the possibility of blizzard conditions on Wednesday night. Gusts to hurricane force with a burst of heavy snow can occur. There is a risk the pass could close for a time.


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Snow will reach down to the lower elevations along I-80 in Nevada and Utah, as well as along I-84 in Idaho to Utah during Wednesday night.

By Christmas Day, the storm will shift over the Rocky Mountains and part of the northern Plains with only spotty rain showers lingering over the Northwest. Motorists are likely to experience slippery and snowy travel over I-90 in Montana to northeastern Wyoming and western South Dakota.


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Cities likely to pick up several inches of snow include Salt Lake City, Utah; Billings, Montana; Casper, Wyoming; and Rapid City, South Dakota. Accumulating snow is likely to reach Denver by Christmas night.

People headed out on Christmas Day in this part of the country should allow for some extra time to reach their destination as the snow can lead to slippery highways and substantial travel delays.

Know when the rain and snow will start for your exact location by using AccuWeather MinuteCast® for your location.

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Another storm is forecast to move into the Northwest over the weekend, after a short break from precipitation.

After the possibility of some snow for Spokane, Washington, and Pendleton, Oregon, this weekend much colder air is likely to pour into a large part of the Western states next week.

Content contributed by AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

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