Western US

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By Brett Rathbun – AccuWeather

The threat for avalanches will be high in the western United States over Christmas weekend, as a large number of winter sports enthusiasts prepare to get out out their skis and snowmobiles.

A persistent train of storms since November across the West has consistently caused new layers of snow to fall, some loose and some compact.

Avalanches are triggered when there is a compact layer of snow above a loose layer of snow. The compact layer acts like a sheet of smooth ice that can quickly become detached from the loose layer below.

Continue reading at AccuWeather: Western US faces high risk for avalanches Christmas week

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By AccuWeather

Soaking rain and accumulating snow will continue to accompany a sweep of dramatically cooler air over a large part of the West this week.

While cold air and snow will be an early boost for ski resorts, and precipitation could be just the start of drought recovery in some communities, the winterlike conditions are creating travel problems.

Temperatures will plunge 15-30 degrees Fahrenheit over much of the interior West as the leading edge of the cool air arrives.

Ahead of and near the leading edge of the chilly air will be strong winds. The strongest gusts on Wednesday will be focused on New Mexico and the central and southern High Plains.

Winds can gust past 60 mph, which is strong enough to knock down tree limbs and power lines in some communities.

Continue reading at AccuWeather: First Bout of Widespread Mountain Snow Continues Over Western US

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By Brett Rathbun – AccuWeather

A storm system will dive southward from the Northwest to the Southwest early this week, bringing rain, mountain snow and a shot of chilly air to the Western United States.

A parade of storm systems has brought much-needed rain and higher-elevation snow to parts of the Northwest since Friday and will continue to do so into Monday.

Rain amounts across Washington ranged between 1 to 4 inches across the state. Portland, Oregon, received more than 2 inches of rain since Friday.

While the rain ruined some outdoor Halloween plans across the Northwest, the rain was a welcome sight as much of the region lies in a severe or extreme drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Continue reading at AccuWeather: Western US to Face Chilly, Wet Start to November

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By Brian Lada – AccuWeather

Temperatures will continue to run well above normal across the western United States this week with this pattern lasting through the opening days of July.

The weather pattern responsible for this heat wave setup over the West this past weekend, and will persist through at least the Forth of July weekend, AccuWeather Meteorologist Michael Doll said.

While this week is not expected to be quite as hot as it was over the weekend, temperatures will still reach the lower 90s Fahrenheit to lower 100s F on a daily basis.

AccuWeather.com RealFeel® Temperatures may be even higher due to the strong rays from the afternoon sun.

To help put this into perspective, the normal high in Spokane, Washington, on July 1 is 79 F. However, the city could hit 100 F one or more times this week.

Continue reading at AccuWeather: Heat Wave, Wildfire Threat to Last Into July for Western US