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Many parts of the West can expect a white Thanksgiving. Motorists should use extra caution on the roads.

Storm may impact busiest travel day of the year. Here's why

Wednesday, November 25, 2015, 9:08 -

Major winter storm to slam Northwest Thanksgiving week

A new episode of rain, wind and snow is underway in the Pacific Northwest to start-up a very weather active Thanksgiving week. The next one is here, and although this storm is not as energetic as last weeks storm, it will dump over a foot of snow in the higher elevations of the Cascades and Sierra Nevada's before moving east into the Rockies.

Rain has been coming down steadily along the Oregon-Washington coast this Monday, but as the storm moves south and east and colder air moves in from Canada, rain is expected to change into snow even very close to coastal areas. 

Snow levels could plunge down to the 1000 ft level mark while freezing rain and icy roads are expected in southeastern Washington and northern Oregon.

STORM TOOL KIT: Be prepared for severe weather with The Weather Network's online essentials: ALERTS | LIVE RADAR | UPLOAD PHOTOS/VIDEOS | LATEST NEWS | FOLLOW ON TWITTER

Another foot or more of snow for the Cascades and Sierra Nevada's

Snow continues to accumulate in the Cascades and northern Sierra Nevada's this month of November, and this system is expected to drop another 12 to 18 inches of snow along portions the Oregon Cascades and the northern California Sierra Nevada range. With lower snow levels, expect populated areas to be affected more than during previous storms this Fall.

If you have travel plans on Tuesday, expect snowy and icy roads in many areas of Washington, Oregon and northern California.

By Wednesday, one of the busiest travel days of the year, weather conditions should be improving in the Pacific Northwest as the low moves eastward into the Rocky Mountain States.

RELATED: Winter storm may boost snowpack but impede holiday travel

As we get closer to Thanksgiving Day and the storm moves to the south and east, expect more snow in the Central Rockies and Plains along with freezing rain and icy conditions for portions of Kansas, Oklahoma and northern Texas.

Click below to watch: Cumulative snowfall through Thanksgiving

Dramatic temperature plunge

This very cold air mass sliding south from Canada will cause temperatures to plunge during the next 24 hours in many areas of the West, from Washington all the way to southern California. Los Angeles just had a weekend of warm dry Santa Ana winds with temperatures in the mid 80´s to lower 90´s, but will be seeing high´s around the 60´s come Wednesday.

Once the system migrates east of the Rockies into the Plains and High Pressure builds in behind expect temperatures to drop even further in the western half of the country. Between Wednesday and the weekend expect a very cold blast of Arctic air pumped in from the north with gusty winds that will send wind chills into single digits along many areas of the Rockies and Midwest.

Click below to watch: Thanksgiving week peak winds

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