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Snow/rain West, Warmth back East


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Western snow and rain

11:45 A.M. ET 12/31/2004


M. Ressler, Meteorologist, The Weather Channel



A parade of upper-level disturbances continues to pound the West, particularly parts of California and Nevada. Travel in the Sierras will continue to be difficult through Saturday. Winter storm warnings will continue across the northern and central Sierra for 1 to 2 feet of additional snow on top of the 2 to 8 feet that have already fallen. Snow totals of greater than 12" are also possible in the northern coastal ranges of California through Saturday. Winter storm and heavy snow warnings are posted in Intermountain West for the Wasatch of Utah, the mountains of southeast Idaho and northern/central Nevada. Snowfall totals of 1 to 3 feet are expected in the Wasatch by Saturday. Gusty winds combined with this snowfall will make travel very difficult or impossible in some locations. The mountains of L.A. and Ventura counties have winter storm warnings for significant snow accumulations with snow levels around 5000 feet. Rain is making a return to Southern California today for places such as Los Angeles and San Diego. Although rainfall amounts will not be anywhere near what they reached earlier this week, look out for localized areas of standing water on roads and more possible flooding in the burn areas. A potent disturbance coming into the Pacific Northwest will interact with a cold northeasterly flow to produce heavy snow east of the Cascades across southern Washington and northern Oregon with as much as 6 to 8 inches possible by late Saturday.


Elsewhere, a low pressure system will bring a change from snow to sleet and freezing rain to rain in Maine.


Looking ahead to the weekend, a storm system will pull into the central U.S. producing a broad area of snow from parts of Montana to Upper Michigan. Accumulations could range from as much as 4 to 8 inches in eastern Montana Saturday to between 8 and 12 inches in Upper Michigan by Sunday. South of the snow from eastern Nebraska and southeast South Dakota to southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, freezing rain and sleet could cause travel problems. The wintry mix will head into parts of the Northeast on Sunday.

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