A strong low pressure system has arrived onshore in the western United States and it will bring a mix of rain, snow, severe and even fire weather throughout the next couple of days.

A low pressure system pushed into the northwestern United States late last night and is already bringing rain/snow to the western mountains Saturday morning. The satellite image below shows the low pressure system with clouds pushing off the Pacific Ocean.

Satellite showing western U.S. storm system.

Heavy rainfall expected in the western U.S.

The first impact that will be felt by many this weekend will be heavy rainfall over the area. A combination of moisture from the Pacific Ocean and orographic lift from the mountains will lead to 2-4″ over parts of the west and that could lead to some mudslides in areas where rainfall is not common. The map below shows the expected rainfall totals over the United States from 11 a.m. Saturday to 11 a.m. on Monday.

Future rainfall totals from Saturday at 11 a.m. through Monday at 11 a.m.

Western U.S. braces for heavy mountain snow

A cold front will push across the western United States Saturday which will change rainfall to snowfall in elevated regions. For some, this will be the first snowfall of the year which will bring hazardous road conditions across the mountain west. Some locations in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming will receive over a foot of snowfall from this storm system. Snowfall totals for the next 48 hours are shown below.

Future snowfall totals for the western United States from Saturday at 11 a.m. to Monday at 11 a.m.

Possible severe weather for northern Great Plains Sunday

Sunday, the aforementioned cold front will push into the northern Great Plains. The cold front combined with increased temperatures and moisture will bring the chance for severe thunderstorms to affect the area.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Oklahoma as placed much of the northern Great Plains in a slight risk (2 out of 5) for severe weather Sunday.

One location that will be in the center of the severe threat will be Omaha, Nebraska which could be impacted by damaging wind gusts, large hail and possible tornadoes. The severe outlook is shown below.

Severe thunderstorm outlook for Sunday from the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

Strong winds bring fire risk to central Great Plains Sunday

Finally, this storm system will generate strong winds over the central Great Plains Sunday which will pose a threat for fires. The strong winds combined with dry air will provide ample fuel for fires and officials are urging residents to refrain from burning Sunday ahead of the cold front. The fire weather outlook from the Storm Prediction Center is shown below.

Fire outlook for Sunday from the Storm Prediction Center.

The storm system will finally weaken and move out of the western United States by Tuesday.