Storms set to hit both coasts

By WND Staff

Double-barreled weather action is about to hit both the East Coast and West Coast with major winter storms, according to forecasters.

According to AccuWeather, arctic air that covered much of the eastern third of the country a week ago has retreated well to the north. As a result, snow will be limited at first as the new storm tracks from eastern Texas to Tennessee.

However, a secondary storm is forming and strengthening today. As the storm strengthens and upward motion increases, the storm will begin to generate its own cold air. Wet snow will occur along the western flank of the storm from western Pennsylvania to western New York state.

No predictions are available yet on accumulation.

Meanwhile, a series of storms will batter the West Coast over the next few days. With each storm that moves inland, the precipitation shield will move farther south. Rain is expected to reach Southern California by Sunday and perhaps as far south as San Diego Monday.

The strong westerly flow will be enhanced on the west side of the Sierra Mountain range. The precipitation will intensify as the moist Pacific flow is forced to rise. Snow levels will be above 6,200 feet through tomorrow, then drop to near 5,000 feet tomorrow night and Sunday. Snow amounts will be measured in feet.

While the East Coast was hit by fierce winter storms recently, the West Coast has been relatively tranquil. But heavy rain and strong winds are expected to buffet the Northwest with winds gusting over 50 mph in places. The core of the jet stream, which had been focused across British Columbia, has moved much farther to the south. A strong westerly flow will direct storm after storm eastward.

The last in the series of storms may be the strongest of the series. The storm will have energy from what was a Pacific typhoon. Damaging winds will produce 30-foot waves and heavy rain, possibly leading to localized flooding.

For more weather details, see Accuweather.