Western US Daily Snow

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By Alan Smith, Meteorologist Posted 1 month ago June 12, 2024

Hot in the Southwest, Cooling Off in the Northwest


Above-average temperatures will prevail across the Southwest and the Rockies over the next several days, while a cooler airmass will take hold across the Pacific Northwest. Most areas will be dry on Wednesday and Thursday, but thunderstorm chances will ramp up across the Southern Rockies on Friday-Saturday. Also, significant rainfall is likely for the PNW this weekend.

Short Term Forecast

Temperature Contrasts

June is off to a hot start for most of the West with consistent above-average temperatures. The result has been extreme heat for deserts and lower valleys in the Southwest, and this pattern looks to continue for the rest of this week.

However, a notable cool-down is in store for the Pacific Northwest, as a trough of low pressure takes hold as the dominant pattern.

Check out the departure-from-average temperatures over the next 5 days.

On the Puget Sound, Oak Harbor, WA (left image) will struggle to hit 60ºF over the next 5 days with rain chances increasing by the weekend.

In the desert, Hurricane, UT (right image) which is located just outside of Zion National Park will be hitting triple digits for highs during each of the next 5 days with no rain in the forecast. 

5-Day Precipitation Forecast:

Rain chances will ramp up across parts of the West late this week, with significant rainfall for the Cascades and Olympics expected over the weekend. Also, the Southern Rockies will see a brief uptick in thunderstorm activity on Friday with more isolated storms on surrounding days.

Forecast for Wed (Jun 12) to Thu (Jun 13):

Most areas will stay dry, but an area of low pressure moving into Southern California will pull in some subtropical moisture to the Southwest with isolated terrain-driven thunderstorms developing across the Sierra, Colorado Plateau, and Southern Rockies. Most of these will be dry thunderstorms that will produce only light and spotty rainfall.

Forecast for Fri (Jun 14) to Sat (Jun 15):

As the low pressure area over the Southwest moves inland, more numerous thunderstorms are expected across Colorado and New Mexico on Friday, followed by isolated activity favoring the higher terrain on Saturday. The Wyoming/Montana border region will also see some thunderstorms on Friday, with isolated storms for Eastern Utah and Arizona. 

The Pacific Northwest will see a wet pattern develop with a weaker storm system initially bringing light to moderate showers to areas along and west of the Cascade crest on Friday.

A stronger storm system will arrive on Saturday with more widespread rain along and west of the Cascades, while NE Washington, Northern Idaho, and NW Montana will see showers as well. Thunderstorms are also possible in the PNW on Saturday.

To the north, widespread showers are also expected across British Columbia and into the Canadian Rockies along the Alberta border. 

Forecast for Sun (Jun 16) to Mon (Jun 17):

Another system will move into the Northwest with more showers for the Cascades and West Coast. Confidence decreases regarding the progression of this next storm inland. The model displayed below is projecting the system to bring substantial rain along with cooler temperatures to the Northern Rockies, along with high-elevation snow. But we'll see how this looks as we get closer.

The Southwest and Southern Rockies will dry out during this period though a stray afternoon thunderstorm couldn't be ruled out along the Continental Divide either day. 

Extended Forecast

Outlook for Tue (Jun 18) to Sat (Jun 22):

Near to below-average temperatures are expected across the Northwest with additional showers also likely, especially early in this period. Temperatures will be above average across the Southwest and Southern Rockies, though an uptick in moisture from the south will lead to regular afternoon thunderstorm chances in Colorado and New Mexico.

Thanks so much for reading! Next update on Friday (June 14).

Alan Smith 

About Our Forecaster

Alan Smith


Alan Smith received a B.S. in Meteorology from Metropolitan State University of Denver and has been working in the private sector since 2013. When he’s not watching the weather from the office, Alan loves to spend time outdoors skiing, hiking, and mountain biking, and of course keeping an eye on the sky for weather changes while recreating.

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