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Major Winter Storm Hitting This Weekend—What to Expect in Your Region

The first big weather event of 2024 is moving cross-country right now.

New year, new weather concerns. The latest AccuWeather forecast reveals that the first winter storm of 2024 is on the horizon. As the storm makes its way across the country, millions of people are likely to be hit with snow, ice, and rain this weekend, so you'll want to make sure you're prepared. To find out what you should be expecting from the winter storm in your region, read on.

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The storm is starting on the West Coast.

Dark storm clouds above Los Angeles in Southern California.

This winter storm isn't waiting until the weekend for some. In fact, AccuWeather forecasters previously said that the cross-country storm would start off midweek on the West Coast.

"As a storm presses inland from Tuesday into Wednesday, a band of moderate to heavy rain is expected in places like San Francisco, Fresno and Los Angeles," Brandon Buckingham, a meteorologist for AccuWeather, said. "Difficult travel due to rain and locally gusty winds is expected."

This storm could bring one or two inches of rain to the northern part of the California coastline, according to Buckingham. This may cause flooding and mudslides—especially in areas that have been burned in recent wildfires. The L.A. Basin is also expected to receive up to three-quarters of an inch of rain, while other areas on the West Coast may get snow instead.

"The storm can produce a quick burst of snow over the Sierra from Tuesday night into early Wednesday, with snow rates of two to four inches per hour possible," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski shared. "This would be the first such event like that of the season, so it could catch motorists off guard."

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Then it will move over the southern High Plains.

feet in black boots on snowy ground. The arrival of winter and snowy weather.

Starting Wednesday, the storm is expected to move farther inland.

"As the storm shifts inland, rain and mountain snow are expected to spread into Nevada and the Four Corners region (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah) between Wednesday night and Thursday," Buckingham said.

According to AccuWeather, the storm is set to produce a zone of heavy snow over the southern High Plains, in parts of New Mexico, northwestern Texas, western Oklahoma, eastern Colorado, and western Kansas. Several inches of snow are likely to fall over this area from Thursday to Friday, making portions of the I-25, I-40, and I-70 corridors more difficult to travel through.

RELATED: 10 Ways to Prepare Your Home for a Snowstorm, According to Experts.

Those in the South should expect heavy rain.

man carrying umbrella rainy day
Dusan Milenkovic / Shutterstock

As we head into the weekend, the next phase of this weather event is set to hit the South. But don't expect winter flurries, as the snow zone of this storm is set to shrink or possibly disappear over the lower to middle portions of the Mississippi Valley, from Friday night to Saturday. Instead, get ready for rain.

"The storm is expected to blossom across the Southern states to start the weekend, likely bringing along a swath of heavy rain and thunderstorms," Buckingham said.

Millions in the Northeastern states are likely to see significant snow.

Close up of car tire covered with snow on a slippery road

This winter storm is expected to intensify in the eastern U.S., according to AccuWeather. As a result, millions in the Northeast, including those along I-95, are likely to get blasted with snow, ice, and rain this weekend. When the storm expands northward from the South, forecasters say a fresh batch of cold air will be waiting in New England, causing snow to fall again starting late Saturday.

"During the day on Sunday, the final act of the storm has the potential to bring accumulating snow to much of the mid-Atlantic and New England," Buckingham revealed. "There is a chance that accumulating snow can fall all the way to the Atlantic coast from this storm in the Northeast, depending on if cold air holds its ground to the north and the storm takes a track slightly more to the southeast, rather than right along the coast."

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Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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