Snowstorm aims for the Rockies for first few days of February

Courtney Spamer

A pattern change will bring wintry weather across the interior parts of the West in the coming days.

The latest storm to hit the Northwest is expected to dive southward into the Rockies before the end of the weekend.

Snow will start late in the day on Sunday across parts of Idaho, northwestern Wyoming and northern Nevada, and then spread southeastward through Sunday night and into Monday.

"Moderate to heavy snow is expected to target the Salt Lake City area Sunday night into Monday," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham.

Most of the snow across Colorado, New Mexico and the higher elevations of Arizona will hold off until Monday or Monday night.

Snow is expected to be heaviest in the mountains east of Salt Lake City, as well as across Wyoming and the Colorado Rockies. It's in this area where a total of 6 to 12 inches is possible.

An AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 30 inches is expected in parts of the Tetons.

"As this system rolls through, area ski resorts in Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado, will rejoice as several inches of fresh powder is expected," said Buckingham.

The fresh snow does, however, resurface concerns of avalanches.


Heavy snow in cities such as Casper and Jackson, Wyoming, and Salt Lake City, could possibly result in school closures and numerous travel hazards Monday.

Deteriorating conditions are expected throughout the day on Monday in places like Denver, Colorado.

Portions of interstates 15, 25, 70 and 80 are likely to become covered in snow.

Gusty winds following the storm are likely to lead to blowing and drifting snow. Gusts of 30 mph or more in snowy areas could bring reduced visibility and even whiteout conditions at times for residents and motorists.

Wind gusts of 30 to 40 mph will move in late Sunday through Monday across parts of southern Nevada and Southern California. Isolated wind gusts of 60 mph may also be possible.

"While January largely featured above-average temperatures across the Intermountain West, an approaching storm system will bring a change of pace to the start of February," added Buckingham.

Colder air will filter in behind the storm, dropping temperatures as much as 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit below normal.

January was mostly void of snow in the Denver area, which received less than an inch of snow last month, compared to the normal 7 inches. The snow accumulation in Salt Lake City was near normal for the month of January, coming in 0.7 of an inch shy of the 12.5-inch average.

It does appear that a pattern change in the West will allow for some more opportunities for snow in these areas during the first half of February.

Meanwhile, this storm looks to continue to impact more of the United States through much of the week, threatening snow and severe weather farther east.

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