It’s been sunny with average or even above average temperatures during the last week, but that will change as our next storm moves in later this week.

The system will hit the Rockies from the northwest, but as it arrives it will also split into two pieces. On piece will drop south toward Baja while the other piece stay north near the U.S./Canadian border.

Since the storm is not going to move through the region as one consolidated entity, snow amounts will be on the lighter side. Some areas could still see up to or more than a foot by the time the weekend is over, but those pockets of heavier snow will be more isolated.

As for the timing, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming will do well late this week, and further south, the Wasatch of Utah the northern half of Colorado will see two batches of snow. One will move through from Wednesday night through Friday morning, and the next potentially heavier batch moves through over the weekend.

Looking further ahead, the weather will be dry during the first day of the Christmas week, but another storm will move through the region on Tuesday and Wednesday. Yes, that’s just in time for Christmas. Will snow be falling on Christmas morning? That looks very possible at this point, especially for ski areas in Colorado, and snow flakes falling from the sky might be the best gift of all.

Joel Gratz is a Meteorologist and the creator of OpenSnow.com.