Fox News Weather Center

Rain, Snow to Return Across Drought-Stricken Western US into Midweek

Following a storm system that spread the first flakes to portions of the Western states last week, a new system will bring more accumulating snow across the region through Tuesday.

A storm system will dive southward along the West Coast into Monday before tracking eastward across the Western states into the Plains by Wednesday.

Chilly air will return and allow snow showers to return across the higher elevations and the first flakes to fall across some lower elevations.

Snow Blankets Flagstaff, Arizona

Regardless of whether the precipitation falls as rain or snow, any precipitation will help the significant drought across the West.

According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike LeSeney, "Enough snow can accumulate and make travel slippery and possibly lead to travel restrictions and chain laws to go into effect in the highest passes."

This storm will bring rain to the Pacific Northwest into Sunday night with snow across the Washington and Oregon Cascades, above pass levels, and also the Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon. Snow levels across the Bitterroot Mountains of Idaho and Montana through Sunday night will be between 5,000 and 6,000 feet.

"Snow levels will be around 6,500 feet through Sunday before falling to around 4,500 feet by Monday," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Zapolski said.

Roads will likely be wet at Snoqualmie Pass on Interstate 90 as temperatures will remain above freezing into Tuesday.

Rain totals from northwestern California into western Washington could exceed 1 inch through Sunday night, including the cities of Seattle and Portland, Oregon.

As the storm spreads inland, precipitation will spread into the Rockies.

By Monday, snow will move to portions of Montana, Idaho, Utah and Nevada and the Sierra Nevada.

Snow could be heavy across the Sierra Nevada through Monday with accumulations reaching 1 foot.

"Rain will change to snow Monday night across Salt Lake City, with a light accumulation possible," LeSeney said.

This could be the first accumulating snow for Salt Lake City since April 15, 2015, when 5.5 inches of snow fell across the city.

Snow will track eastward into Tuesday from southeastern Montana to the Wasatch Range in Utah and across the higher terrain in northern Arizona. Places such as Billings, Montana; Casper, Wyoming; and Flagstaff, Arizona, could face slippery travel.

"In addition to the slippery roads, blowing and drifting snow can lead to low visibility at times," Zapolski said.

While snow showers may extend as far south as Flagstaff, accumulations are not expected to be as heavy as the 10 inches that fell during the storm last week.

By Tuesday night, snow will overspread areas from the Black Hills of South Dakota to the Colorado Rockies and eastern Colorado, including Denver.

"A couple inches of snow could accumulate in Denver on Tuesday night," LeSeney said.

"Travel delays and flight delays are likely Wednesday morning in the Denver Metro area," AccuWeather Meteorologist Michael Doll said.

This storm is not likely to produce any rainfall for the major cities of Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix, but will clip the Central Valley of California with rain on Monday.

As this storm exits, a new system will spread across the Northwest bringing more rain and higher-elevation snow for Veterans Day. Another potent storm is expected to move into the Northwest by Friday.