Storm to sweep western, north-central US with accumulating snow

A storm system will disrupt holiday travel from the southwestern United States to the Midwestern states into Saturday.

This storm will also be responsible for a reinforcing shot of colder air that will dive across the Western and North-Central states into the weekend.

Beneficial rain will fall across northern and central California on Christmas Eve with heavy snow across the Sierra Nevada. Snow will also be concentrated across northern Nevada.

"This storm will bring another 1 to 2 feet of snow across the Sierra Nevada into Friday," AccuWeather Meteorologist Ryan Adamson said.

Travel will be tricky across Donner Pass as well as the Tejon and Cajon passes into Friday.

The steadiest rain will miss much of Southern California Thursday night into Friday. Although, a spotty shower could occur from Los Angeles to San Diego and Palm Springs.

Those heading to ski resorts to take advantage of the packed powder should heed all warnings as the threat for avalanches will be high in some locations.

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The storm will swing across the Four Corners region during Christmas Eve night into Christmas Day, producing snow across Salt Lake City; Flagstaff, Arizona; and Aspen, Colorado.

The heaviest snow will focus on the Wasatch Mountains of Utah and the Colorado Rockies.

"The highest elevations of the Four Corners could see more than a foot of snow on Christmas Day," Adamson said.

Conditions will improve across the Four Corners during Christmas night as the storm will track northeastward into the Upper Midwest.

"Snow will overspread the Upper Midwest Friday night into Saturday with accumulating snow from portions of Nebraska and South Dakota to Minnesota and Wisconsin," Adams said.

Areas from western Nebraska to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan could receive between 3 and 6 inches of snow, including the cities of Minneapolis; Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Scottsbluff, Nebraska.

Some locations could receive up to 8 inches of snow.

Minneapolis could receive as much snow during this single event than the city has received so far for the entire calendar month of October, November and December . The most snow Minneapolis has received in a calendar month this fall and winter was 5 inches, received in November.

Precipitation may fall in the form of sleet and freezing across an area from northern Iowa into southern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin during Friday night into Saturday morning.

"Winds will begin to increase and reduce visibility, further hampering travel," Adamson added.

A gusty wind could lead to blowing and drifting snow leading to travel delays on the ground and in the air for anyone heading home after the holiday.

Those traveling home by air should check your airline for any possible delays or cancellations on Saturday or consider delaying your flight until Sunday.

This system will swing across the Northeast with a round of rain Saturday night into Sunday before a major storm takes shape across the south-central United States.

A strong area of high pressure will bring a shot of arctic air across the Intermountain West and Upper Midwest behind this system to start the new week.

High temperatures on Sunday may be the lowest this month across many locations in the North Central states.