Cold Weather Returning To United States

By: Shaun Tanner , 1:09 AM GMT on January 10, 2013

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We have set up a page to track this cold storm and all of its effects.

If you have ever read my forecast blogs, you will know I often start out these discussions by looking at the severe weather map to determine where the active weather is.



So there are two notes when looking at this map.

First, there are Flash Flood Watches and Warnings posted from eastern Texas through Louisiana due to a slow-moving storm that has dumped several inches of rain on the region over the past two days. One Personal Weather Station on Lake Mexia, Texas has received nearly 5 inches of rain since Tuesday, while areas in southeastern Louisiana have reported up to 10 inches of rain, with heavy rain still falling.


Storm total radar precipitation for Fort Polk, LA

Second, of course note the white and blue colors throughout the West. The white colors in the severe map are Winter Weather Warnings and Advisories, while the blue colors High Wind Watches and Wind Advisories.

All of these western colors are due to a major Winter storm system currently making its way onto the West Coast.


Radar and frontal analysis of Winter storm moving through West.

I want to highlight to many ingredients regarding this storm.

Snowfall

To get a good idea of how much snow is expected for parts of the West over the next few days, use the WunderMap snowfall predictor. You will note that the Sierra Nevadas could receive over a foot of snow, while the higher elevations of Idaho could receive up to two feet of snow. Some Winter Storm Warnings in Idaho are noting up to 3 feet of snow through Friday morning. In general, much of the West should expect at least the chance of snow over the next 2-3 days.

Cold Temperatures

The storm will carry VERY cold air with it that will cause very frigid temperatures for the West over the next few days. Here are the minimum temperatures for Friday morning...




Saturday morning...



And Sunday morning...



The story here is obvious. Minimum temperatures well below freezing are expected throughout the Great Basin and Rockies, with higher elevations potentially dipping below -20 degrees.

In California, the Central Valley will see temperature in the 20s and damage to agriculture in the valley is certainly possible. In addition, the National Weather Service is warning of snow levels lowering to a few hundred feet Thursday and Friday.

We have set up a page to track this cold storm and all of its effects.

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7:45 PM GMT on January 15, 2013
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About shauntanner

Shaun Tanner has been a meteorologist at Weather Underground since 2004.

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