Severe Winter Storm 'Draco' Blitzes Northwest

Draco expected to strike central states after burying Pacific Northwest.

FE_PR_091210_Palin_3.jpg
By SHARE

A powerful winter storm lingering from the weekend continues to batter the Pacific Northwest with high winds and white out conditions.

The storm, which The Weather Channel has named "Draco," is pulling cold air and moisture from the north Pacific and dumping it inland in the form of deep snows and winds up to 85 mph.

Parts of Washington and Oregon are expected to receive a foot or more of snow Monday, and winter storm warnings have been issued as far east as Wyoming and Colorado.

[READ: How to Put Winter to Work for Your Garden]

The conditions have already caused dozens of crashes and power outages in Oregon and Washington, according to The Seattle Times. The blizzard conditions prompted The Weather Channel to issue no travel warnings in the highlands, including the Cascade and Sierra mountain ranges.

In these higher elevations the snow could reach two or three feet of snow, according to the National Weather Service. The NWS reported hurricane-force winds, as strong as 100 mph, in the mountains of the Northwest.

Along the coast, the winds are expected to reach 85 mph, fueling 30-foot waves. Most of the Oregon and Washington coasts have issued flood warnings in anticipation of tidal overflows and heavy rains in low-lying areas.

[READ: How to Have a Winning Winter Workout]

Forecasters predict the storm will weaken as it moves inland, but expect heavy snows to continue. Idaho, Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming could see up to a foot of snow by Tuesday.

Later in the week the storm is expected to hit the Midwest. By Thursday, Chicago and surrounding areas could feel its strong winds while parts of Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the Dakotas could see enough snow to complicate holiday travel plans.

"Draco" is the fourth large winter storm to be officially named by the Weather Channel, which began naming winter storms of sufficient strength in October.

More News:

Seth Cline is a reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow him on Twitter or reach him at scline@usnews.com.