Storms will continue to affect the West through this weekend and into next week with rounds of precipitation for some needy areas as well as delays for travelers.
The pattern change that began last weekend will allow progressively colder conditions over the West and moderating temperatures in the eastern half of the nation next week.
According to AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark, "The system late this week into this weekend will not bring heavy precipitation, but rain and snow will be widespread over the West."
This next storm is slated to take a southward path across the interior West, after moving onshore from the Pacific in British Columbia and Washington state. This path will spread precipitation over a broad area in the West.
The storm will spread coastal rain with inland and mountain snow across the Northwest beginning Thursday and continuing into Friday. While a rain and snow mix will fall at low elevations over interior Washington and Oregon, enough snow will fall to create slippery travel at Snoqualmie Pass, along Interstate 90.
According to AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark, "It looks like more rain and mountain snow for California Friday through the weekend."
Rounds of snow will make for slippery conditions over Donner Pass and I-80 in California Friday into the weekend.
"It is all good news after very little rain for the past two months, before the storm last weekend," Clark said.
Parts of the Cascades and Sierra Nevada will pick up a foot or more of snow from the storm into the weekend. While the amounts are not huge, any snow in the high country is beneficial at this point with so little snowfall over the winter so far.
It is the high country snow that gradually melts during the spring, causing runoff to feed into streams and reservoirs down below.
However, much more precipitation is needed than what these storms will bring to alleviate the drought conditions in California and other parts of the West.
Since July 1, 2013, Los Angeles has received less than half of its average rainfall. To date, there has only been about 11 inches of rain over the past 20 months or so.
Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Sacramento, California, will receive some rainfall from the storm into the weekend.
Ski resorts in California, Oregon and Washington which have been struggling this season will welcome the snow.
Some snow will also fall over the various ranges of the Intermountain West and Rockies late this week and into the weekend.
Enough snow can fall to make for slippery travel in Salt Lake City; Boise, Idaho; Flagstaff, Arizona; Reno, Nevada; Spokane, Washington; Pendleton, Oregon; Cheyenne, Wyoming; and Denver, spanning the second half of the week and into the weekend.
As the pattern continues next week, there will be more opportunities for beneficial moisture, along with waves of cold air for the West.
While the pattern is good news for the West in terms of moisture as Clark stated, the region still has a long way to go to climb out of the drought.
AccuWeather.com will continue to provide updates on the storms heading for the West.