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Snowy West and North


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Active West and northern tier

3:00 P.M. ET 12/30/2004


M. Ressler, Meteorologist, The Weather Channel



One storm punched into northern and central California today and a second one will follow on Friday. Showery but locally heavy rain plus a few thunderstorms will bring an additional 1-to-3 inches of rain especially to the coastal range. With snow levels down to between 2000 and 2500 feet and winter storm warnings in effect, the peaks of the northern coastal range could pick up an additional 12 inches of snow by early Saturday while storm total in the Sierra will reach anywhere from a foot between 3000 and 4000 feet to 7 feet near the ridge tops. Winds will remain gusty in the mountains. The Intermountain West will see snow through Friday with heavy snow warnings and winter storm watches in Nevada where 6 to 16 inches are possible and winter storm watches for the mountains of southeast Idaho and Utah where up to 3 feet are possible. Salt Lake City will see a wintry blend of precipitation. Westerly winds are strong and gusty over parts of Wyoming and Colorado. The West will remain unsettled as systems continue to move in off the Pacific through early next week.


With so much warmth of the central and eastern parts of the nation, below freezing temperatures linger only in the zone near the Canadian border. As a result, freezing rain is confined to northern Minnesota, the northern tip of Wisconsin and the Lake Superior shores of Upper Michigan. The western fringe of the precipitation in eastern North Dakota is changing to snow and the remainder of the Upper Midwest will change over to light snow or flurries overnight. On Friday, the interior valleys of southern New England may be cold enough for some icing to start while northern New England could see snow quickly change to sleet and freezing rain.

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