Weather Underground Forecast for Thursday, January 19, 2012.
A very active weather pattern will continue in the West on Thursday as the strong jet stream directs moisture and Pacific disturbance across the Northwest. Coastal rain, valley sleet and freezing rain, and heavy mountain snow will persist from parts of the Pacific Northwest and northern California through the Northern Rockies and down into the mountains of Utah and Colorado. Expect another 5-12 inches of snowfall in areas in areas of the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies, and up to 7-15 inches in the Great Basin. In addition to precipitation, winds gusting to 45 mph and over 75 mph in the mountains will join the mix, leading to periods of blowing and drifting snow with reduced visibilities.
To the east, a low pressure system in the Upper Mississippi Valley and the Upper Great Lakes will drag a cold front through the Upper Great Lakes and the Ohio Valley as the system lifts northeastward into southeastern Canada. Expect snow showers and perhaps a few snow squalls ahead of this cold front from the Great Lakes through the Northern Appalachians southern parts of the Northeast. Behind this system, a very frigid arctic airmass will spread into the Northern Rockies and Northern Plains, dropping temperatures down to 30 degrees below normal. Temperatures in the Lower 48 states Wednesday have ranged from a morning low of -27 degrees at Cut Bank, Mont. to a high of 81 degrees at Kendall, Fla.