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New Year’s snowstorm to usher in coldest air since 2014 across parts of northwestern US

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Arctic air will drop into the Northwest early next week, bringing a frigid and snowy start to 2017.

An area of low pressure will help to spread snow across the Northwest heading into the new year. A surge of arctic air will follow in its wake Monday through Wednesday.

Snow will fall across most of the Northwest on New Year’s Day with the exception of coastal areas where rain will fall.

Some rain and snow will fall in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Any heavier snow shower passing through the lowlands could put a quick coating on grassy surfaces during this time. Outlying areas in higher elevations may get a couple inches of snow on the ground.

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Motorists going to and from New Year’s events in the area may face slippery travel and delays due to rain and snow. Travel may be slowed due to lowered visibility and poor road conditions.

While there can be light accumulations across the higher ground around Seattle and Portland, the best chance for heavy snow will be focused across the Cascades where 6 to 12 inches will fall. Heavy snow will also fall across the Bitterroots.

The swath of rain and snow will spread farther south and east Sunday night and Monday. Salt Lake City will endure snowy conditions during this time with travel being impacted. Snow will spread into the northern Sierra as well where a foot of snow may pile up.

The snow will be gone across Washington and Oregon by Monday as arctic air pours in.

Daytime temperatures will generally range between 10 and 20 degrees Fahrenheit below normal for a few days, although in some areas, temperatures may rise up to 30 degrees below normal.

Some cities may come close to tying or even breaking low temperature records. The coldest air will be in place between Monday and Wednesday.

NW Cold Arctic Plunge


Cities such as Seattle and Spokane, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Boise, Idaho; Missoula and Great Falls, Montana; will all face the cold next week.

The arctic air will continuously seep into the I-5 corridor from Seattle to Portland and into northern California.

An easterly wind through the Columbia River Gorge will funnel the arctic air into Portland Monday through Wednesday.

“Portland will endure several days with high temperatures in the 20s to near 30 next week,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Danny Pydynowski said.

Overnight lows in Portland will rival records this week as temperatures dip into the teens through Wednesday night. This will be some of the coldest air felt since February of 2014.

Boise, Idaho, may also approach records on a couple of nights next week as temperatures sink well below zero.

Those heading outside may want to consider putting on extra layers.

An Arctic high pressure system remain in control across the Northwest through most of the week and will keep the region dry. However, the cold air will keep a firm grip on the region.

“The Northwest looks to remain colder than normal right into the first weekend of the new year,” Pydynowski said.

The cold air may even make it as far south as Las Vegas by the end of the week, bringing temperatures 10 to 15 degrees below normal.