Atmospheric River to Bring Rain and Snow to the West, 3-day Forecast


Another atmospheric river is expected to develop in the West, bringing heavy rain and snow, which could be a boon for drought-stricken areas; December 21 marks the winter solstice; plus, more weather and forecasts.

National 3-day forecast

Here’s the latest 3-day forecast for the lower 48 from the National Weather Service (NWS).

Tuesday: In the West, Snow over portions of Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, California, and Nevada. There is snow over the western Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine in the upper Midwest and East. Potential severe weather and tornadoes for central and southern Florida.

Wednesday: In the West, heavy rain and snow for portions of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, and Utah, as well as over the Dakotas and Minnesota. In the East, snow over Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

Thursday: In the West, snow over Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. In the East, snow over south North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, as well as West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

NWS weather alerts

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued Tuesday’s weather alerts.

Winter storm warning: northern and eastern California; southwest Oregon; western Nevada; north Michigan.

Winter weather advisory: southwest Oregon; northern California; central Montana; northeast Minnesota; northern and east-central Wisconsin; northern Michigan; Boston, Massachusetts, and surrounding areas; southern New Hampshire; south Maine.

Winter storm watch: northwest and eastern Washington; northwest Oregon; northern Idaho; western Wyoming; northern Maine.

Tornado watch: west-central Florida.

Potential atmospheric River in the West, snowstorms

AccuWeather reports a series of storms moving over the West coast could set up another atmospheric River bringing snow and heavy rain to portions of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and California. According to forecasts, some areas saw between 12-16 inches on Monday, and much more is on the way.

“Very long rain event” predicted for the West, significant snowfall possible, could help drought-stricken areas

According to the National Weather Service, reported a “very long rain event” from December 20-26 on the West Coast that could bring some essential snowpack to the higher elevations, reported. According to the Farm Bureau, the Sierra Nevada provides about one-third of California’s yearly water supply for agriculture and urban needs. Snow levels are expected to start near 9,000 feet during Christmas week, plummeting to pass levels at about 3,000 feet by Sunday.

What the winter solstice means

The winter solstice arrives at precisely 10:50 AM a.m. Eastern time in the northern hemisphere on Tuesday, December 21, 2021.

The winter solstice will mark the shortest day of the year in terms of daylight. According to, there will be 8 hours and 46 minutes of daylight on the winter solstice, according to

The solstice is marked by the movement of the sun, taking its lowest and shortest past through the sky, which in turn, gives the northern hemisphere its shortest period of daylight, the Washington Post reports.

Following the solstice, daylight will gradually increase until reaching the spring equinox, when there are equal hours of day and night. The spring equinox for 2022 occurs on Sunday, March 20.