A very strong low pressure system currently just offshore of San Francisco Bay will continue to bring high winds, heavy rain, and heavy mountain snow for California and adjacent areas of the Southwest through tonight and Wednesday as the latest in a series of atmospheric rivers impacts the West.
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The low pressure system will advance across the Intermountain West going through the middle of the week, and this will bring heavy snowfall across large areas of the Great Basin and into the higher terrain of the central and southern Rockies going through early Thursday.
Regarding the impacts from this storm system, the winds this evening across areas of central and southern California will be quite strong and may reach as high as 60 to 70 mph with higher gusts.
This coupled with the heavy rainfall may lead to downed trees and power lines.
Locally several inches of rainfall is expected by Wednesday morning across especially southern California and this will foster concerns for rapid runoff, flooding and mudslides given the already wet, saturated soil conditions that are in place.
The snowfall will be quite heavy once again for the central and southern Sierra Nevada as the system moves inland, and additional snowfall amounts of 3 to 4 feet can be expected with isolated heavier amounts.
This additional snowfall will lead to difficult travel and could strain infrastructure in areas already buried under a record-breaking snowpack for the year-to-date.
Impacts are also anticipated across the Southwest, central Great Basin, and gradually reaching into the central and southern Rockies.
Gusty southwesterly winds up to 60 mph are possible across the Desert Southwest, with heavy rain and localized flash flooding possible across parts of central Arizona.
Elevated terrain from central Nevada to western Colorado can expect heavy snow to last through Wednesday before then tapering down by early Thursday.
Dangerous to difficult travel is likely here, with most mountain ranges expected to see as much as 1 to 2 feet of additional snowfall with isolated heavier amounts.
Wintry weather will also impact the north-central U.S. through midweek as a storm system traverses the region.
Low pressure currently strengthening over the northern Plains will advance across the Upper Mississippi Valley by Wednesday morning, and this should interact with sufficient cold air for a swath of heavy accumulating snow for eastern North Dakota and much of northern Minnesota.
As much as 6 to 10 inches of snow, with isolated amounts in excess of 1 foot will be possible before the snow tapers off.
This storm system will pull away from the region and exit into Ontario on Thursday.
On Thursday, aside from very warm and much above normal temperatures overspreading much of the South and large sections of the eastern U.S., there will be a growing concerns for developing showers and thunderstorms later in the day across central and eastern Oklahoma into southwest and central Missouri as a strong front gradually stalls out across the region. ■