There are many cities in the middle of the country that are in the midst of their longest snow drought in recorded history. For example, Des Moines, Iowa, has now reached 277 consecutive days without measurable snow. In other words, not since March 4 has there been any snowfall of at least 0.10 of an inch! Chicago is on the cusp of their longest such streak of 280 days that dates back to 1994, and if they get through Sunday with none, a new record will have been set there.
Just look at the latest national snow analysis:
Only the areas shaded in light blue or darker have at least 2 inches of snow on the ground, and as you can see from the map, that pretty much excludes the entire U.S. outside of the high ground of western Wyoming and Montana and Idaho, as well as the Cascades and Sierra.
That's about to change.
While a series of storms will again push unusually warm air across the country and into the East this weekend and into Monday, the air behind these storms will grow colder, and it will lead to some snow. The initial press of cold air through Montana and Wyoming into Colorado will be followed by a burst of upslope snow. The latest NAM forecast largely excludes the Denver metropolitan area from the snow, but that's highly subject to change.
Even as that press is charging southward through the Rockies and along the Front Range, low pressure will be spit out across the northern Plains, and that will also generate some snow. Again, the latest NAM forecast would imply several inches could accumulate in portions of the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin through the weekend. The GFS is more benign looking but would also mean the most snow so far this season over parts of the eastern Dakotas and Minnesota to at least central and northern Wisconsin.
As a stronger wave of low pressure passes up through the Great Lakes Sunday night into Monday, there will be enough resistance to the arrival of warmer air in northern New York and northern New England for there to be some snow and ice, but that will have no bearing on central and southern New England and points southwest.
There is also some concern that a final wave of low pressure follows along the front, crossing the Tennessee Valley on Monday afternoon and zipping through New England Monday night, and that on the back side of this wave there may be just enough cold air to change the rain to snow before precipitation ends.
Once the front clears the board, it'll be much colder throughout the Plains, the South and the East. There may not be much snow through the heart of next week, anywhere in the country. The cold should ease from west to east across the Plains and into the East late in the week.
Despite a downturn in temperatures in the Northeast, most of the country will remain milder than normal for at least the next week.
Even though there's some snow on the ground over the interior Northeast today, the pattern going forward shows little sign of the winter season to come in most of the nation.
The record warmth of recent days will be replaced by a much colder air mass following a cold front moving from the Ohio Valley to the East. Rain will change to snow in the higher ground of upstate New York and northern New England.
Matthew is a dangerous hurricane bearing down on the east coast of Florida. While it ravages Florida and parts of the Southeast into the weekend, it will spare the Northeast of its fury.