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Chilly, unsettled weather to persist in western US into next week

AccuWeather logo AccuWeather 2/16/2019 renee.duff

ca snow ap © Provided by Accuweather, Inc ca snow ap Below-normal temperatures will accompany bouts of rain and snow across the western United States through next week.

"A stormy pattern with chilly air will continue for the Pacific states and into the Southwest through the middle of next week and beyond," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jack Boston said.

While California residents can breath a sigh of relief that no storms will bring a repeat of last week's wind, rain and snow, the chilly, unsettled weather can put a damper on continued cleanup and power restoration efforts.

a close up of a map: SW Sunday Feb 16 © Provided by Accuweather, Inc SW Sunday Feb 16

A cold system will dive southward along the Pacific Coast into the end the weekend.

This weekend can bring a fresh 1-2 feet of snow on top of the mountains of snow that fell last week in the highest terrain of the Sierra Nevada, including I-80's Donner Summit.

This will add further strain to mountain towns struggling to find places to pile the snow and crews trying to keep roads clear.

So much snow fell late this past week that several routes to Lake Tahoe were shut down, forcing skiers to cancel plans, according to the Associated Press.

Those who do venture into the Sierra Nevada into early week will need to use extreme caution as roads are likely to remain treacherous and the avalanche danger will remain high.

a close up of a map: avalanche danger 2.16 AM © Provided by Accuweather, Inc avalanche danger 2.16 AM

Travelers over Interstate 5's Siskiyou Summit in Oregon will also need to be cautious of snow-covered, slippery roadways into Sunday.

"Snow can also fall and whiten the higher terrain around the San Francisco Bay area later Saturday night into Sunday morning," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.

In Southern California, snow levels will drop to around 1,500-2,000 feet by Sunday night, which can allow accumulating snow in the foothills and some valleys areas, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bob Smerbeck.

The low snow levels can create travel difficulties for people driving through the Grapevine, Cajon Pass and along portions of highways 14 and 138, with reduced visibility and snowy, icy roads possible.

Gusty winds will cause any snowfall to blow and drift.

People in and around Flagstaff, Arizona, will also have to contend with snowy conditions this weekend, with the heaviest snowfall and worst travel conditions expected on Sunday night and into Monday.

Outside of the wintry conditions, rain showers, with perhaps a few rumbles of thunder, will sweep along the California coast and Central Valley through the weekend.

Any thunderstorms that do pop up can produce small hail, in addition to frequent lightning.

a close up of a map: Early week Feb 16 © Provided by Accuweather, Inc Early week Feb 16

Cold air will settle in behind the storm, with record lows possible from Redding to Sacramento, Santa Barbara and Riverside, California, early in the week.

"Temperatures will average 5-15 degrees Fahrenheit below normal through next week across the much of the West," Boston said.

As the Pacific states dry out early in the week, the cold, along with the threat for snow and slippery travel, will spread into Denver and Albuquerque, New Mexico, Monday into Tuesday.

a close up of a map: Cold West Feb 16 © Provided by Accuweather, Inc Cold West Feb 16

The dry break for the West Coast will only be brief, however, as a new storm will sweep southward with rain and snow showers during the middle and latter part of the week.

This next storm will return snowfall to the Sierra and Southern California mountains, and could unleash significant snowfall in the Four Corners region.

Las Vegas has the potential to record its second snowfall of the season with this event.

Download the free AccuWeather app to stay up to date with the latest short- and long-term forecasts for your area.

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