The powerful winds sweeping over the Great Lakes and Northeast in the wake of a strong cold front will begin to relent this afternoon and evening. Similarly, the lake-effect snow squalls barreling off Lakes Superior, Michigan, Erie and Ontario--at times producing whiteout conditions--will also begin to abate. In the Far West, the trend will be in the opposite direction later today and tonight as another Pacific front piles into Washington and Oregon. Prodigious snows already blanket the Cascades, and another foot or two is likely by this time tomorrow. As of mid-morning today, Pacific time, Snoqualmie Pass on I-90 over the Washington Cascades remained closed for avalanche control operations. The pass may open later today, but snowfall in the mountains will increase again tonight. Meanwhile, a new storm system will spin up overnight in the south-central U.S. Several inches of snow may coat portions of south-central and southeastern Kansas as well as adjacent portions of northern Oklahoma. But this snow will be only a precursor to a more significant swath of snow likely to develop across Missouri and Illinois tomorrow. (See National Forecast for additional details.) As the storm fires up, isolated severe thunderstorms may billow up along the upper Texas Gulf Coast very early tomorrow morning.