Early holiday travel across the West to be impacted by rain, snow

AccuWeather meteorologists say that a storm moving into the Pacific Northwest can result in disruptions to travel ahead of the busy holiday week.

An area of low pressure off the coast of California that has brought days of wet weather to much of the state this past week finally moved inland on Saturday. At the same time, a dip in the jet stream was ushering in another storm system into the Northwest, bringing rain and mountain snow that will last through Sunday.

As the storm pressed farther across the interior, colder air pushed into the region, allowing snow levels to continue to drop Sunday night, leading to some snowy conditions through the Cascade passes.


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Gusty winds will also accompany the storm as it moves through the region. Individuals are encouraged to secure any loose objects and outdoor holiday decorations.

"Locations where winds can turn particularly gusty include Southern California where a Sundowner event, or northerly winds, will transition into a moderate Santa Ana event as winds turn more northeasterly," AccuWeather Meteorologist Reneé Duff said. This will continue through Monday.

Wind gusts can be high enough to cause power outages and toss around outdoor items that are not properly secured or stowed away. Across the wind-prone mountain peaks, the AccuWeather Local StormMax™ is 100 mph.

Those with early holiday travel plans across the region should be prepared for wet and windy conditions, resulting in delays both on the road and in the air. Forecasters urge motorists to allow for extra travel time and be cautious of ponding on roadways and flooding in low-lying areas. Air travel can also be impacted across the region as gusty winds combined with rainfall can result in flight delays or cancellations.

Looking ahead, dry conditions will set in across much of the western United States for much of this week.

"A large area of high pressure will dominate the western U.S. for much of the week leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday, promoting good travel conditions for most," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Heather Zehr said.

Tuesday through Wednesday, a front pushing into the Northwest and northern Rockies will bring showers and areas of high-elevation snow, which can lead to travel delays and cancellations right before the holiday. Travelers are urged to closely monitor the forecast and check for any delays and cancellations.

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