A potent winter storm is directing a massive plume of Pacific moisture toward the Sierra Nevada, where up to six feet of snow is expected; no doubt, this is a welcome development in drought-plagued California. Moving eastward across the Intermountain West, the storm will also bring heavy snow to the Southern Cascades, the Wasatch and the Colorado Rockies.
Moving onto the Great Plains, the winter storm is forecast to drop 6-8 inches of snow along the Colorado Front Range (beginning tomorrow afternoon) before dipping across the Southern Plains, where cold air will be entrenched. Currently, bands of snow are expected across both the Central Plains and the Southern Plains; the latter should include southern Oklahoma, North Texas and central Arkansas. The more northern snow band is expected to progress through the Ohio Valley while the southern track will bring snow, sleet and freezing rain to the Deep South, from Mississippi to Georgia. Farther east, the bands are expected to merge in the Mid Atlantic region before moving off the Atlantic Coast.
While the Pacific moisture will be "wrung out" by the Sierra Nevada, Great Basin Ranges and Rocky Mountains, the storm will sweep Gulf of Mexico moisture across the Great Plains and Southeast before drawing in Atlantic moisture across the Piedmont of Virginia and the Carolinas. The combination of entrenched, sub-freezing air and copious moisture will ensure plenty of snow from Coast to Coast.