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Winter Storm Pounds Mountain West This Weekend

UPDATED 3:30 PM MST, November 16, 2013

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Chad Merrill

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The western mountains are in winter mode this weekend! A rapidly moving storm system is dumping heavy from the Cascades to the Northern Rockies before edging into the central U.S., where it will be a severe weather maker later today and Sunday.

Snow continues to fly across the Northwest and Rockies where Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories are still in place.

The northern Cascades above 2,500 feet have been slammed fairly hard with more than a foot so far. A foot will also likely crest the highest peaks north of Interstate 90 in Montana, with 5-to-10 inches for the remainder of the northern Rockies. Farther south, the central Rockies will get buried with 8-to-16 inches today and early Sunday.

If you are planning to travel across along the Interstate-90 corridor this weekend, bring a winter supply kit with you, including blankets, water, food, and batteries. Be prepared to be stranded should you face trouble or roads are closed.

As this storm slides eastward, it will strengthen as it exits the Rockies. The strong pressure difference between the low pressure and incoming high pressure in its wake will unleash gusty west winds from the Northwest through the High Plains.

Across large stretches of the Rockies, sustained winds will be 35 to 45 mph with gusts up to 65 mph later today into Sunday. Gusts up to 55 mph are expected in the higher elevations of the Great Basin and Northwest today. This will likely cause difficult travel along Interstates 25, 40, 70 and 80 today and Sunday. Not to mention, there will likely be sporadic power outages. High Wind Watches and Warnings and Wind Advisories are posted from central Oregon and northern Nevada and from south-central Wyoming into much of New Mexico, and eastward through Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Kansas. More wind watches and advisories will go up across the Plains and Midwest as the storm slides eastward through the weekend.

The main energy from the Northwest storm will push into the Central Plains Sunday and then whistle through the Great Lakes. This will result in a widespread severe weather outbreak in the Ohio Valley and Midwest. Click here for the latest severe weather risk today and Sunday.

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