All Weather News

Something Brewing in the Southwest

8 Mar 2013, 11:25 am

Happy Friday everyone! While the massive winter storm winds down in the Northeast (but not before leaving some impressive snow totals), let’s take a look back westward at the next big system to move through the nation. Cool and rainy conditions will be the story to start our weekend here into Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Tucson, so grab a jacket and your umbrella!

Here’s the morning satellite and radar image from the Southwest. Note the tight circulation just off the coast near Los Angeles — that is our low pressure system. Snow woke us up in the mountains of Arizona and rain showers extended into the San Joaquin Valley, and more wintry weather is on the way for Friday afternoon.

Check out the snow in Elko, NV associated with this system — looks frosty! The National Weather Service reported a new record daily maximum snowfall total of 2.2″ in Elko yesterday (Thursday), which broke the old record of 1.3″ on the same date in 1999.

Higher elevations in the southern Rockies could see upwards of a foot of fresh snow to start the weekend. These are just some of the Winter Weather Warnings/Advisories that are valid into Saturday:

As the storm moves inland through the Great Basin region, the wind speeds will pick up considerably. This is prompting a Blizzard Warning into extreme southeastern Wyoming/western Nebraska for Saturday. Dangerous travel conditions are likely — it would be a good idea to grab some cocoa and hang out by the fireplace this weekend! Winds will be howling, gusting as high as 45 miles per hour at times.

This powerful low pressure system is associated with a deep trough (or upper-level disturbance), plunging cold air down into the Southwest. This sets us up for a big frontal system to push into the Central and Northern Plains regions.

This is the circulation on our water vapor satellite:

This area of low pressure will swing into the Midwest and Plains states through Friday night and into Sunday morning, making for travel headaches for students gearing up for Spring Break. Here is the latest from the newly-renamed Weather Prediction Center:

Snow to the north, rain to the south, ice in the middle, and even a severe threat? We’re in for some wild weather this weekend as this storm progresses toward the Great Lakes. The precipitation forecast over the next five days brings plenty of rain showers areas of the Central Plains and points southward — puddle jumping might be in order by Sunday.

And to round it all out, the images below are the severe weather outlooks trailing along the southern end of the storm. Slight risks for severe weather, with the main focus being on damaging winds and hail. Isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out.

This is a very broad overview of this weekend’s storm system. For round-the-clock updates and the latest information, stay tuned to WeatherNation TV! Watch online at  — national forecast updates run at the top and bottom of every hour. Also, don’t forget to upload a photo to our Social page while you’re here!

TGIF! -Meteorologist Miranda Hilgers

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