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Storms on West Coast and central U.S. forecast to bring rain and snow

Up to 3 feet of fresh snow could blanket the Sierra Mountains of California by midweek. Flash flood concerns continue for urban areas and near burn scars.
Image: Shoppers wait in line in the rain to enter a Costco Wholesale store on March 14, 2020 in Glendale, California.
Shoppers wait in line in the rain to enter a Costco Wholesale store on March 14, 2020 in Glendale, California.Mario Tama / Getty Images

Storms on the West Coast and the southern and the central Plains are forecast to bring rain and snow this week.

After a stormy weekend all along the West Coast, more rounds of rain and snow will hit California through the start of the week.

During the day Monday, heavy snow will develop over higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada, producing up to 3 feet or more of fresh snow. Along coastal California, rain will continue through Wednesday morning. Rainfall amounts could be over 2 inches, which may cause isolated flash flooding in some locations, especially in urban areas and over burn scars, which are the areas most susceptible to them.

Another round of heavier rain will move into central and northern California on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday, the precipitation will become less widespread and lighter, but still hang around.

Across the middle of the country, a slow moving storm system will bring scattered showers and thunderstorms Monday from the southern and the central Plains to the Midwest and the Southeast. The heaviest rain will be concentrated across northern Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, where more than an inch of rain could fall. Some strong thunderstorms are also possible across the Big Bend area of Texas, where damaging winds will be the greatest risk.

On Tuesday, the severe thunderstorm threat ramps up across west Texas where damaging winds, hail and isolated tornadoes will be possible for cities including Abilene, Lubbock and Wichita Falls.

The severe thunderstorm threat continues Wednesday, this time for 3 million people from central Oklahoma down through southwest Texas. All hazards will again be possible — hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes — and cities at risk include Oklahoma City, and Lubbock, Abilene and Wichita Falls in Texas.

Thursday is the first day of spring, the earliest in 124 years, but it won’t look or feel like it for parts of the Rockies and the central Plains. A significant storm system is shaping up to produce snow for portions of Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and Minnesota on Thursday and then parts of the upper Midwest and the northern Great Lakes on Friday.

There could also be a severe thunderstorm threat associated with this storm system Wednesday through Friday across the Plains. It is too early to provide exact snow total forecasts or severe thunderstorm probabilities at this time.