Series of Storms Begins to Slam the West

By: Accuweather.com
By: Accuweather.com

The strongest storm in many weeks was delivering drenching rain, heavy snow and strong winds to the Northwest Monday and will spread southward and inland through the West as the week progresses.

The storm will drop up to several inches of rain from the northern coast of California to southwestern British Columbia into Tuesday. Up to several feet of snow will be deposited on the higher terrain of the Cascades.

Lowering snow levels will make for slippery conditions over Snoqualmie Pass along Interstate 90.

The same fate may await travelers along Interstate 80 through the Sierra Nevada in California Tuesday night into Wednesday and Wednesday night into Thursday through the Grapevine along Interstate 5 in southern California as colder air advances.

The heavy, late-season snow deposited on the slopes over the various ranges in the West will boost the skiing industry. However, this storm and others to follow will disrupt travel at times, perhaps similar in scale to that at the onset of the winter.

Soon after conditions improve over the coastal Northwest during the midweek, a new storm will plow ashore Thursday night and Friday with a new round of rain, snow and wind.

While moisture from the second storm is likely to largely bypass much of California and the Southwest, a third storm from the Pacific Ocean may hit farther south along the California coast late in the weekend with another round of precipitation and wind.

While much of the West has received greater than average precipitation this winter, amounts to date have been lower than average for a significant part of the Northwest and also farther south over the Los Angles area.

The stormy pattern this week and beyond should give these areas a boost in rainfall down below and snowfall above.

As we have stated numerous times here at AccuWeather.com, the dangers flooding are elevated following a late-season snowfall, as this snow is more likely to rapidly melt.

The storms have the potential to lead to avalanches, road washouts and mudslides this week and beyond.


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