Stormy, Turning Colder Across the Rockies, Great Basin
January 28, 2013; 5:16 AM
A large dip in the jet stream will keep stormy conditions in place across the Rockies and Pacific Northwest while colder air filters in early next week.
Several storm systems across the West are being fueled by a big dip in the jet stream. The first of which has brought record rainfall to Tucson and Phoenix, Ariz., on Saturday and will continue to trek eastward over the next few days.
This system is going to be responsible for a significant ice storm from the Midwest to the mid-Atlantic into Monday.
As this first system continues to track into the Great Lakes tonight, a second front will trek eastward through the Great Basin sparking additional rain showers across many areas from Las Vegas through Grand Junction, Phoenix and Tuscon.
A few rain showers will also dampen the ground across the Los Angeles Basin through tonight, but rainfall amounts there will be generally light.
The big thing to notice with this front will be the temperature change behind it. Much colder air will move into the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies on Sunday, before translating throughout the remainder of the Southwest and Front Range Monday into Tuesday.
High temperatures by Tuesday will struggle to get out of the lower 30s in Denver and Albuquerque along with Salt Lake City.
Farther to the north, temperatures will plummet into the teens and low 20s across Great Falls and Billings after highs near-40 on Sunday and Monday.
Meanwhile, this sharp cold front will also generate significant mountain snows with up to a half of foot of accumulation across the highest spots of Bitterroots through Monday. 6-12 inches can be expected in the Washington and Oregon Cascades near pass level with even higher amounts above 5,000 feet.
Up to 6 inches of new snow will accumulate through Monday in the Wasatch of Utah along with the Colorado Rockies and the mountains around Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
Travel could be tricky across I-90 in Washington tonight through Monday, especially if going over Snoqualmie Pass.
Significant slow downs are likely across the passes in western Montana and northern Idaho as well as Interstate 80 through Donner Pass in California.
Take proper precautions if heading into the higher elevations of the West over the next few days and always travel with extra supplies in case of emergency.
Check with our AccuWeather.com Winter Weather Center for more information and additional snowfall graphics.