An atmospheric river event, bringing ample amounts of moisture to the West this weekend, will gradually move across the country and bring hazardous weather to millions.
The blockbuster storm will begin in the West with heavy snow, gusty winds, and coastal flooding, then move eastward, threatening potential blizzard conditions in the Midwest and tornadoes in the South.
Winter weather alerts are in place for more than 10 million people across nearly a dozen states from California to Minnesota Sunday.
Snow could top out at 1 to 2 feet in the Rockies, and 3 to 5 feet in the Sierras by the end of the weekend. Heavy rain will also be notable in the West, particularly in California, where flooding concerns exist through Sunday.
An atmospheric river is a plume of moisture which streams in off the Pacific Ocean. Similar to a fire hose, it shoots moisture into one area for an extended period of time, resulting in very heavy rain or snow.