Tuesday, 11:15 a.m.
And no big warmup east of the Mississippi, either.
That's the glaring message I'm looking at today. The most recent 'winter' storm has moved away from the East Coast, and for the rest of the week, there will be no big storm to contend with. Instead, we'll be left with a steady warming trend in the Rockies that will progress out onto the Plains Friday into the weekend. In contrast, the much below-normal chill from the eastern Plains and Mississippi Valley to the East Coast will hold fast, grudgingly giving ground going into the weekend.
Let's look at the big picture tomorrow evening:
The main feature is the upper-level low east of Labrador, with its smaller partner over New England. We also see an strong upper-level low over the northwestern part of the Northwest Territories into northeastern Alaska, a feature that is once again fostering quite a cold air mass in Alaska. To the south, we find an upper-level ridge, albeit a relatively weak one, stretching from Mexico northward into the Rockies. It is there we will see some modest warming the rest of the week.
What we don't see is a big storm. There will be some resistance to the approach of warmer air from the Rockies into the colder air trying to retreat from the Plains, but that isn't going to morph suddenly into a big storm with an outbreak of severe weather on one side of it and potentially heavy snow on the cold side of it. In many ways, it's sliding into a quiet period.
It will start to look and feel more like spring over the eastern Rockies and out onto the Plains by the weekend, but there's some work that needs to be done. Look at the current snow cover analysis:
That's a very unusual snow coverage map for the end of March! No doubt it will look different by this weekend, even with the lingering chill from the Midwest to the mid-Atlantic and New England. Still, the late March sun will do its dirty work in steadily shrinking those snow piles.
Some of the warming will cross the Mississippi Valley as the weekend progresses, and there should be a nice upturn in temperatures Saturday into the Ohio and Tennessee valleys, especially where the snow is gone. A similar warmup is on the table for areas east of the Appalachians on Sunday.
However, about the time it looks like you can get out in the yard and start cleaning things up from the long, hard winter or go into the garden to get some of the early plantings in, another cold front will sweep through the Midwest, then charge off the Northeast and mid-Atlantic coast later Monday and Monday night. The cold won't be as strong so far south this time around, nor should it last as long, but it will once again delay the onset of real spring weather in the aforementioned areas.
A snow storm affecting the central Plains and Midwest into the Great Lakes this afternoon into tomorrow night will be followed by the first of two arctic outbreaks around the country before Thanksgiving.
Winter is six weeks away, and there will be a couple of signs this week of the approaching season as a storm develops on the western Plains and heads through the Great Lakes.
A warm pattern is setting up for much of the nation next week.
Tropical moisture associated with the one-time Hurricane Patricia will bring heavy rains to many areas east of the Mississippi Valley between now and Wednesday night.
Patricia, the strongest hurricane on record in the eastern Pacific, will make landfall this evening in Mexico. It will spread torrential rains into East Texas, and impact the weather all the way to the Northeast next week.