NOAA forecasters optimistic about good weather for busy holiday travel period

Kansas City, Mo. – Monday, Nov. 19, 2012 – Even though a winter storm is brewing in the Pacific Northwest, NOAA forecasters said it appears the rest of the country will have benign weather for one of the busiest travel times of the year.

Limited parts of the Northwest will see consecutive days of heavy snow from today through Wednesday and moderate snow will broaden the affected area into the western High Plains. The heaviest snows – 20 inches and more in north-central Montana and 7-14 inches in northern Washington and Idaho – will fall at the higher elevations in the Cascade Range.

High winds will be a factor in the southern half of Washington, most of Oregon, and extreme northern California. Winds are expected to reach 90 mph right along the Pacific Coast.

Western Wyoming will see 60 mph winds in the northern parts of the state, according to forecasters, with light snow and 20 mph winds in the southern half of the state.

The mountains of western and central Colorado will see lingering light snow and snow showers through Thursday morning. Snow showers in the northern mountains will diminish this afternoon.

Elsewhere around the country, forecasters said weather should become increasingly quiet over the next few days. A weak frontal boundary moving eastward through the central United States should trigger a few showers across the Middle Mississippi Valley today. The boundary will dissipate as it crosses the Great Lakes on Tuesday leading to only a few patchy and very light areas of precipitation. Patchy freezing drizzle slickened roads this morning in northern and eastern Minnesota.

See today’s Hazards Map at http://www.weather.gov/largemap.php and the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center threats map at http://origin.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/noaa/noaad1.gif.

For this morning, the bulk of the winter storm in the northwest is centered on northern Washington, northern Idaho, north-central Montana and north into Canada. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect until late this afternoon for northern Washington and northern Idaho. A Blizzard Warning is in effect until late Tuesday afternoon for north-central Montana.

In the middle of the country, light showers are expected from the Minnesota Arrowhead and the western Great Lakes south across most of Iowa and Missouri and into northern Arkansas. Rain and thunderstorms are on tap for the Middle Atlantic Coast south to southern Florida. Rain is also expected today in Oregon and northern California.

NOAA precipitation forecasts for the coming five days may be found on the web site at http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/qpf/qpf2.shtml

Local National Weather Service office web pages are available at http://weather.gov; select the desired location. All segments of the U.S. weather and flood forecasts and outlooks are available through the NOAAWatch briefing page at http://www.noaawatch.gov/briefing.php.

Contact:  Public Affairs Specialist Patrick Slattery (816) 268-3135



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