Thursday, 11:20 a.m.
The biggest storm we'll see between now and Sunday night is the one currently rolling across the southeastern quadrant of the country. Severe thunderstorms have been common with this feature, starting with the devastating tornadoes of Tuesday across north central and northeast Texas. Gusty winds, hail, and even a few tornadoes are all possible this afternoon and into tonight from eastern Mississippi to Georgia and northern Florida.
After tonight, the risk of severe weather becomes much, much lower. And not just across the Gulf coast into the Southeast, but really across most of the country. The next biggest storm will through the central Rockies tonight, and head for the western Dakotas tomorrow. A cold front attached to this storm will swing out of the Rockies and onto the Plains tomorrow night, generating some thunderstorms from Kansas northward into South Dakota. While some of these may well be severe late tomorrow night into Saturday, that appears to be the high point for this storm. After that, it weakens, and the convergence with the front falls apart going downstream. Therefore, as the front progresses through the Lakes and Ohio Valley tomorrow night and Easter Sunday, there won't be a lot of rain with it, and little if any severe weather.
Before the front reaches these areas, it will get progressively milder this weekend. High pressure setting up camp over the Lakes tomorrow and tomorrow night will promote clear skies and light winds, which can lead to areas of frost tonight, and again tomorrow night. This area will extend from the Midwest to the interior mid-Atlantic, with concerns for a hard freeze from portions of Pennsylvania into New York.
Farther south, with drier air moving in from the north and west, the weekend is shaping up to be spectacular with sunshine. As the weekend wears on, the clockwise flow around the high will allow moist air to return to Texas over time, leading to more clouds throughout the course of the weekend. There could even be some showers Saturday night into Sunday across the northern half of Texas and Oklahoma as this return flow runs into the front dropping in from the north.
Farther west, another storm will take aim at the West Coast. This time around, though, it will have a hard time getting to the coast. Look at the latest forecast for Sunday afternoon:
There can be and probably will be some rain Easter Sunday from northwest California to western Washington, but the front itself will be slow to move much farther inland. It will take another feature rolling underneath this storm a couple of days later to push this front farther to the east. And that means some warm weather for a change over the interior West and into the Rockies. Look at the temperature anomaly forecast for Sunday:
Beyond the Easter weekend, the trough coming at the East will sharpen up, and it will lead to a cool period through the heart of the week from the Mississippi Valley to the East Coast. The coolest days will likely be Wednesday and Thursday:
It's not terribly cold, and certainly the negative anomalies won't even come close to the magnitude and length of the warm anomalies run up in March. Still, it will be pretty chilly, and may trigger some late season frosts next week across the Ohio and Tennessee valleys and into the interior Southeast.
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