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Western Storm: Snow for Rockies, High Winds for Southwest

Nick Wiltgen and Chris Dolce
Published: October 10, 2013

A potent storm system slammed into the coast of California on Wednesday.

Snow was reported in the Sierra Nevada of California and in the mountains of Southern California. Some lower elevation locations in Southern California, including Los Angeles and San Diego, received light rainfall from the storm.

(MORE: Minor Flooding in S. Calif.)

Farther to the east, the storm caused gusty winds in the Southwest, which contributed to blowing dust in Arizona.

(MORE: Blowing Dust in Arizona)

Thursday, the storm will spread snow and wind across the Rockies.

Rockies Snow, Wind

Background

Winter Alerts

Winter Alerts

Winter Alerts

Winter Alerts
Background

Snowfall Forecast

Snowfall Forecast

Snowfall Forecast

Snowfall Forecast

As the storm makes a hard left turn and swings northeast toward the Rockies, it will bring snow to higher mountain elevations of Utah, northern Arizona, far northern New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, southern Montana and eastern Idaho.

Low pressure will then intensify over the Plains and track roughly from eastern Colorado northeast through the Dakotas. While this storm track is very similar to Winter Storm Atlas, this system will not draw down as much cold air from Canada.

As a result, snow will have a difficult time reaching the lower elevations (say, below 6,000 feet) east of the Rockies. Places such as Casper, Wyo., and Rapid City, S.D., which saw crippling snowfall during Atlas, will likely see mainly rain from this storm system.

The rain, falling on areas that saw up to 5 feet of snow from Atlas, could potentially lead to some minor flooding problems in eastern Wyoming, western South Dakota and southwest Dakota.

(MORE: Flood Alerts)

Despite the lower threat of wintry weather for many, winds will still be a factor due to the strength of the low-pressure system. 

Thursday afternoon, strong winds will spread from the Four Corners of northeast Arizona and New Mexico into the High Plains of eastern Colorado, western Kansas, southwest Nebraska, and the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles, with gusts from 40-50 mph likely. Areas of blowing dust and reduced visibilities are likely in these areas, as well.

(WIND ALERTS:  Southwest | Plains)

Severe Threat

In addition to the threat of rain, mountain snow, and gusty winds, there will likely be some severe thunderstorms on the High Plains Thursday. For more details on this threat, click the link below.

(MORE: Severe Weather Threat Thursday)

MORE: Winter Storm Atlas Photos

iWitness Guzva84 captured this photo of mailboxes encased in snow in Spearfish, SD.

  • Winter Storm Atlas Snow Reports
  • Copper Mountain, Colo.
  • Copper Mountain, Colo.
  • Copper Mountain, Colo.
  • Copper Mountain, Colo.
  • Copper Mountain, Colo.
  • Frisco, Colo.
  • Frisco, Colo.
  • Mount Hood, Ore.
  • Mount Hood, Ore.
  • Wamsutter, Wyo.
  • Wamsutter, Wyo.
  • Wamsutter, Wyo.
  • Wamsutter, Wyo.
  • Wamsutter, Wyo.
  • Wamsutter, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Gillette, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Rapid City, S.D.
  • Wheatland, Wyo.
  • Wheatland, Wyo.
  • Steamboat Springs, Colo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Spearfish, S.D.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Laramie, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Laramie, Wyo.
  • Laramie, Wyo.
  • Laramie, Wyo.

 


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