Snow threatens weekend travel in Northwest, North Central

weekend weatherAccuWeather reports two storms will produce areas of snow in the Pacific Northwest and part of the North Central states this weekend.

This weekend will be one of the busiest travel periods of the year across the country as millions people head home from Christmas vacations and family gatherings.

Meanwhile, dry conditions with a good deal of sunshine will lead to good travel weather across the Southwest and much of Florida. Favorable weather for travel is in store for the Northeast during most of the weekend.

Soaking rain and the risk of flooding is in store for part of the South.

Check AccuWeather MinuteCast® for your location before heading out on the roads. It will show you the start and stop times of precipitation over the next two hours, and it will also show you when rain will change to snow.

 

Rain, Snow, Icy Roads to Plague Pacific Northwest, Northern Rockies

Weekend travel weather will be quite difficult across parts of the Pacific Northwest as a storm system drops into the region from the north.

This storm will usher in a very cold air mass as well, leading to falling snow levelsSaturday and Saturday night with rapidly increasing travel problems.

Rain will fall along coastal Washington and Oregon Saturday and Saturday night leading to wet and slick roadways along Interstate 5. Areas of fog will lead to reduced visibility while roads are packed with vehicles.

Snow levels will rapidly drop across the Cascades, falling to around 1,000 feet bySaturday night. There may even be a few wet snowflakes across metro SeattleSaturday night, but no accumulation is expected.

 

Stripe of Snow From the Central Plains to the Upper Midwest 

As the storm that affected the Rockies on Christmas Day swings northeastward, a swath of snow will extend from Nebraska to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan during the first part of the weekend.

A general 1-3 inches of fluffy snow will fall in this swath. However, a few locations can pick up close to 6 inches of snow.

Cities forecast to receive accumulating snow into Saturday include Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan; and Minneapolis.
Portions of I-35, I-80, I-90 and I-94 can be slippery for a time during the first part of this weekend. Motorists should expect delays.
Travel conditions will substantially improve from southwest to northeast over the North Central states later Saturday into Sunday.
Best Bets for Travel This Weekend
By far, the best travel weather this weekend will be across Florida where 80-degree temperatures and sunshine will prevail.
The weather will be dry and sunny across much of California and the Desert Southwest with cool air across much of the area.

While some rain will eventually work into the Northeast this weekend, much of the time into Sunday morning will be dry and mild.

More significant chill will affect a large portion of the United States early next week with the main thrust of the cold air forecast to take aim on the West as 2014 comes to a close.

By Brian Edwards, Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com

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