The western U.S. will have to brace for localized flooding downpours next week as two storm systems descend on the region.
A tropical low off the Baja California coast and a strong upper-level low pressure system will help to bring unsettled weather to the Southwest and Rockies for a few days.
Area of low pressure may become Tropical Storm Paine
A weak tropical area of low pressure is currently being monitored a few hundred miles off the coast of Baja California. As it tracks northwestward over the next couple of days, it is expected to become more organized.
"This system will likely strengthen into a tropical depression this weekend, and then into a tropical storm," AccuWeather Meteorologist Ed Vallee said.
If this system does strengthen into a tropical storm, it will take the next name on the list, which is Paine.
This feature is expected to slowly parallel Baja California early this week and eventually stall offshore.
"The cool water west of the northern Baja California Peninsula will prevent a strong tropical feature from directly reaching the southwestern United States," AccuWeather Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.
Despite this, moisture will still be drawn northeastward into the Southwest U.S.
This moisture will help bring localized downpours and the risk for isolated flash flooding from western Arizona to western Colorado late Monday through Tuesday in the form of drenching showers and thunderstorms.
Localized downpours could cause dry stream beds to become rushing rivers in a short amount of time. Motorists will need to watch out for flooded and washed out roadways.
Powerful fall-like system to bring unsettled weather, cool air to the West
While unsettled weather comes to an end on Wednesday across the Southwest, the focus will shift to a new area and a new storm.
"A chilly storm system will drop into the northwestern United States during the middle of next week and slowly push across the West before emerging onto the Plains Friday," Pydynowski said.
This will bring an unsettled end to the week for a large section of the interior west as this storm produces widespread showers and thunderstorms.
Locally drenching showers and thunderstorms are expected to soak the Rockies from Montana to Utah and western Colorado late Wednesday through Friday.
"The steadiest rain could partially be fueled by moisture from the tropical feature off of the coast of Baja California," Pydynowski said.
Some of the storms can bring heavy rainfall in a short amount of time. The combination of the heavy rain and runoff can lead to a quick increase for water levels on local streams and rivers.
The storm will also bring an increase in winds across the West. Afternoons could become quite gusty and some areas across the Southwest may experience blowing dust for a time that could hinder visibility and cause slow travel.
Any thunderstorms could also bring damaging winds to the surface which could result in smaller trees being brought down.
Temperatures will also take a hit towards the end of the week as this system pulls in cooler, fall-like air.
"Thursday could be just a raw day across a part of the northern Rockies where the rain pours down and temperatures are held 10 to 20 degrees below normal," Pydynowski said.
Locations as low as 8,000 feet in the northern Rockies will likely see some snow.
By Friday, the threat for heavy rain is expected to expand into the High Plains. The storm system could potentially ignite severe storms across the Central Plains.