Winter Storm Lucian will continue to bring more snow to the West early this week before turning into a wintry mess by midweek in parts of the Plains, Midwest and interior Northeast.
Lucian is colder than Winter Storm Kai, which means snow is falling at low elevations in the West. It will also bring snow and ice farther to the south across the Midwest when compared to Kai.
As of Monday morning, several inches of snow had fallen in parts of the Seattle metro area, including a report of up to 9 inches northeast of downtown near Redmond. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has seen 3 inches of snow.
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) February 4, 2019
Snow was also falling on the coast of Oregon in Astoria Monday morning.
— NWS Portland (@NWSPortland) February 4, 2019
In California, heavy snow and strong winds continue to pummel the Sierra Nevada as soaking rain moves through the lower elevations. The rain could raise the risk of possible flooding and debris flows near recent burn areas.
The National Weather Service has posted winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories from Washington southward into Oregon, the Sierra Nevada and the mountains of Southern California as well as eastward into parts of the Rockies and Intermountain West.
A blizzard warning has been posted through Monday in parts of the Sierra, where strong winds will produce zero visibility and whiteout conditions.
Below is our latest thinking on the forecast for this long-track winter storm, but keep in mind that changes are likely in the days ahead.
Winter Storm Lucian Timing
- Through Monday, snow is expected from the Pacific Northwest into the Sierra Nevada and parts of the Rockies.
- Snow or rain mixed with snow will fall at low elevations of the Pacific Northwest, including around the Seattle and Portland, Oregon, metro areas.
- Heavy snow is expected in the Sierra Nevada, where travel will be significantly impacted, including on Interstate 80 through Donner Pass. Snow could fall at elevations as low as 1,000 to 2,000 feet in the Sierra on Monday.
Tuesday-Tuesday Night Forecast
- Snow will continue in the Mountain West, including in valley locations such as Salt Lake City.
- Farther east, a separate wave of precipitation from this storm will break out over the upper Midwest and Great Lakes.
- This could result in a band of freezing rain or sleet impacting an area from southern Iowa and northern Missouri eastward to the southern Great Lakes, potentially including Chicago and Cleveland.
- Snow is expected from the Dakotas into Minnesota, much of Wisconsin and northern Michigan.
Wednesday-Wednesday Night Forecast
- A broad area of snowfall may continue from the Rockies into the northern Plains and upper Midwest.
- Increasing winds in the upper Midwest and northern Plains may lead to reduced visibility.
- There will also be a band of freezing rain and sleet that may extend from parts of the interior Northeast westward into the southern Great Lakes and Midwest.
- Much of New England and northern New York could see freezing rain, sleet or snow by Wednesday night.
- Snow and strong winds may continue to affect the upper Midwest and northern and western Great Lakes.
- A band of sleet and freezing rain may extend from parts of Missouri to lower Michigan.
- Parts of New England and upstate New York may also see a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain.
How Much Snow and Ice?
- Several feet of additional snow will pile up in the Sierra Nevada through Tuesday.
- Snow and strong winds will also impact the Reno, Nevada, metro area into Tuesday.
- The Salt Lake City metro will also see several inches of snow Tuesday into Wednesday.
Plains and Midwest
- Though details are still uncertain, several inches of snow could accumulate Tuesday through Thursday from the Dakotas and Nebraska into parts of Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and northern Michigan.
- The best chance for totals of 6 inches or more appears to be from the eastern Dakotas and northwest Iowa into Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
- A zone of icing is likely Tuesday through Thursday from northern Missouri and southern Iowa into northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, northern Indiana, southern Michigan and northern Ohio. The ice could slicken roads and may also weigh down tree branches and power lines, resulting in possible spotty power outages or broken tree limbs.
- Some icing may extend into parts of the interior Northeast as well.