A strong storm will bring unsettled weather to portions of the northwestern and central United States spanning Monday into midweek.
The storm will send temperatures tumbling across the interior Northwest, which will allow for snow across the highest terrain on Monday.
Meanwhile, unseasonably warm air ahead of the storm will provide the breeding ground for heavy and locally severe thunderstorms across the central U.S. on Tuesday into Wednesday.
Snow to return to northern Rockies on Monday
Part of the northern Rockies will receive a taste of winter early this week.
The best opportunity for snow will arrive in the northern Rockies of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming on Monday into Monday night. Snow levels can fall to around 6,000 feet.
Enough snow can fall to whiten the ground and cause slippery and snow-covered roads. Motorists should use extra care when crossing the mountain passes.
Snow amounts may exceed half a foot over the highest peaks.
As snow falls across the higher elevations, soaking rain is in store across the lower elevations of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.
The rain can be heavy enough to cause isolated incidents of flash flooding and slower-than-normal travel.
Wind-swept rain will affect much of northeastern Montana, where gusts up to 55 mph are possible. This could cause sporadic power outages and tree damage.
Rain, storms to end dry spell in central US
"The storm set to bring rain and mountain snow to the Intermountain West on Monday will move across the Central states on Tuesday and Wednesday," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun.
Unseasonably warm and moist air will be pulled northward ahead of the storm, bringing the return of rain and locally heavy thunderstorms from the Dakotas and Minnesota to Oklahoma.
"A few storms may be on the strong side across Kansas and Oklahoma on Tuesday, with some locally strong wind gusts and hail," Rathbun stated.
This includes in Wichita, Kansas and Oklahoma City.
The threat will mainly transition to heavy rain and flash flooding from Minnesota to Kansas during Tuesday night, he added.
Rain and thunderstorms are expected to advance eastward into the upper Great Lakes and the Missouri Valley on Wednesday. The overall threat for severe weather, however, is expected to remain low and fairly isolated.
This week's wet weather will end a week-long dry stretch for many across the region. The dry spell has been much needed as many locations across the midsection of the country dealt with above-average rainfall during the month of September.
A new storm may bring an additional dose of wet weather to the Central states during the second half of the week.