A powerful weather system from the Gulf of Alaska moved inland into northern California on Tuesday, bringing more wind, rain and snow to a state battered by months of storms.

Meteorologists warned of heavy snowfall in the coastal mountains and Sierra Nevada, where up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) of snow was possible, highway chains went into effect and an avalanche warning was issued in the area of the Lake Tahoe.

The National Weather Service said the storm was expected to pull a pocket of moisture from the Pacific toward California as it moved south, but rainfall was not expected to be as heavy as the atmospheric rivers that have affected the state in recent weeks.

The instability system is moving from California to Nevada, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Forecasts call for the storm to move east over the next several days, bringing severe weather to the Mississippi Valley and the Great Plains later this week.

In the Southeast, meanwhile, frost advisories extended across the region, with freezing temperatures from Arkansas to Virginia.

Winter storm conditions from California to Wyoming

Winter storm conditions are moving across the West on Wednesday, stretching from California to Wyoming.

Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories were in effect across a swath of Northern California. A winter storm warning remained in effect until 11 am in the Shasta Lake area, with snow accumulations of up to 2 feet expected.

And further south, accumulations of up to a foot were possible on the highest mountain peaks in inland Santa Barbara County.

In southwestern Montana, a winter weather advisory is in effect as of noon Wednesday, with snow accumulations up to 9 inches for the highest elevations.

And parts of Nevada are under a similar advisory as of 5 a.m. Wednesday, with snow accumulations also up to 9 inches and winds gusting to 50 mph.

Freezing weather south to Virginia

Freeze advisories were in effect across the South Wednesday, particularly for Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee as far as Virginia.

Although temperatures below 30 degrees are not expected, frost can kill crops and other sensitive vegetation, the NWS warned.

Source: National Weather Service

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