The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued winter weather advisory warnings for parts of nine states, forecasting snowfall of up to 18 inches in some areas and urging caution while traveling.
Counties in Tennessee, Virginia, California, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Alaska, Nevada and Maine are all covered by the notices. In addition, a winter storm warning is in force for the municipality of Skagway in Alaska, where residents are advised to “prepare their property before the onset of winter weather.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said it expects conditions to improve during the first few days of 2024, adding: “The outlook is rosy for most travelers at the start of 2024. A sprawling area of high pressure will keep most of the country dry. High temperatures are expected to be near or above average for much of the country through the first half of next week as Arctic air stays bottled up to the north.”
NWS winter weather advisory warnings are in place until 6 a.m. local time on Saturday for areas of middle Tennessee, including the towns of Livingston, Jamestown, Allardt and Sparta, where up to 2 inches of snow could accumulate in higher areas. Warnings are also included until 4 p.m. on Saturday for areas at or above 3,000-feet elevation in the East Tennessee mountains.
Western Greenbrier County in West Virginia has a similar warning until 7 p.m. on Saturday, with “snow accumulations between 1 to 3 inches” expected, and travelers warned of “slippery road conditions.”
Conditions will be particularly severe for a stretch of California from Yosemite National Park to Tulare County where travel may be very difficult to impossible. Snow accumulations of 6 to 10 inches are expected widely, with localized amounts up to 15 inches above 6,000 feet, while wind speeds of 35 miles per hour are expected. Wind guests as high as 40 to 50 mph and up to 18 inches of snow is also forecast for higher peaks around western Plumas County and the northern Sierra Nevada.
A weather advisory warning is in place for southeast Nicholas, southeast Webster, northwest Pocahontas and southeast Randolph counties in West Virginia until 7 p.m. on Saturday, with total snow accumulations of 2 to 4 inches expected.
In Pennsylvania, a warning is in place from 1 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday for eastern Preston and eastern Tucker counties. A similar warning exists for the same time frame in Maryland’s Garrett County and western Grant County in West Virginia.
For Alaska, a weather advisory warning has been announced for southern slopes of the central Brooks Range until 6 p.m. on Saturday, with “cold wind chills as low as 30 below zero,” which “could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.” Warnings are also in place across the White Mountains and high terrain south of the Yukon River where residents are urged to “slow down and use caution while traveling.”
In the western U.S., the NWS has issued warnings for Mono County and the greater Lake Tahoe area, with snow accumulations of up to 12 inches forecast for areas above 7,500 feet west of Highway 89.
Areas in the Great Lakes and upper Midwest are expected to see light snowfall on Saturday due to an Alberta Clipper system, or cold front that moves southeast across the U.S. from the province in Canada.
On Monday, the East Coast was battered by a winter storm, which left four dead, and thousands without power, across the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.