Snow is forecast to hit patches of the country on Tuesday, and those flakes could just serve as an appetizer with another major winter storm in the forecast later this week.
- Parts of California could see up to 3 feet of snow accumulation by Wednesday morning, making travel treacherous.
- Montana and the Dakotas are also forecast to get up to 9 inches of snow once another winter storm system moves through the area, with gusting winds causing additional concerns.
- Later this week, more snow and rainfall could inundate already soaked areas, particularly in California, where flooding concerns are beginning to rise.
Here’s what you need to know about Tuesday’s forecast.
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Montana, Plains to see snow
Winter weather warnings and advisories crossed over Montana and the Dakotas on Tuesday.
A winter storm warning was in effect in parts of South Dakota until 11 p.m., with up to 9 inches of snow expected. Dangerous conditions could impact morning and evening commutes, the National Weather Service in Aberdeen, South Dakota, warned, with blowing snow reducing visibility for drivers.
Officials warned that if people must travel, they should keep an extra flashlight, food and water in their vehicles.
In parts of northeast Montana, snow accumulations of 4 inches are possible, with winds gusting up to 40 mph.
But later this week, wintry weather is expected to intensify in the region, with some areas expecting 18 inches of snow late Wednesday through Friday night, according to AccuWeather meteorologists.
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Heavy snow forecast in northern California
A winter storm warning is in effect until 10 a.m. on Wednesday in parts of northern California, with some areas of higher elevations expecting several feet of snow.
Snow accumulations of up to 3 feet are possible above 2,500 feet in the area, according to the National Weather Service in Sacramento, California, and up to 10 inches are possible above 2,000 feet.
Travel could be “very difficult to impossible” in the region, the weather service warned, and downed trees and power outages are expected in the coming days due to heavy snow and winds.
The most significant snow is expected early Tuesday morning and during Tuesday night.
Winter storm tracker
National weather radar
Contributing: John Bacon, Jordan Mendoza and Doyle Rice; USA TODAY