Friday, 11:30 a.m.
Severe weather struck at the heart of the South on Thursday, as a few tornadoes cutting across parts of Mississippi and Louisiana resulted in the loss of life. The severe weather threat is fading now as the front that has generated the strong thunderstorms is now east of the Appalachians and is charging to the East Coast. The rain will move off the coast with the front tonight, and even the snow in parts of northern New England will largely come to an end.
The break between this storm and ones to follow will be all too brief. The next one up will plow into British Columbia late this afternoon and tonight, pushing a cold front into the Northwest. With it, there will be some rain and a lot of wind, as it is a tightly wound system. By Sunday, it will be rolling out into the central Plains:
North of the storm, with plenty of cold air in place, there will be snow across parts of Montana and into the Dakotas without question. This time, it will be more over North Dakota rather than South Dakota, as was the case with Wednesday's storm. Some of that snow will move into northern and western sections of Minnesota later Sunday and Sunday night, with a solid, cold rain to the south.
That storm is destined to move into Ontario Monday and will help pull warmer air into the Ohio Valley and eventually the East. While that's all transpiring, another system will be moving out over the western Gulf of Mexico. Look at the Sunday morning 500mb forecast:
In response to that disturbance, rain and thunderstorms will blossom over the Gulf and along the Gulf Coast Saturday night, spreading into Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia as well as northern Florida late Saturday night and Sunday:
That may come into play in the final round of the Masters on Sunday in Augusta, Ga.
In the face of a building upper-level ridge over the East Monday, the rain will fade as it tries to come into Virginia, and little of it will get much farther north later Monday and Monday night.
Meanwhile, back upstream, an even more vigorous upper-level trough will be digging into California:
That's going to dig into the southern Rockies Monday night and Tuesday. That's likely to generate one or two storms that will head from the southern Plains toward the Great Lakes, and I can see a setup very similar to what we've just come through - snow in the cold air from the central and northern Rockies to the Midwest, with severe weather with the cold front farther south. Look at the overall setup:
I don't know about you, but I'm really getting tired of this busy, active, stormy weather pattern. And the cold and snow. Yes, my back yard is now green, and it has warmed considerably, but there's so much of the country that I have to cover on a daily basis that I am almost always dealing with the storminess. Can we just flip a switch and make it summer now? Yeah, that's what I thought. No dice.
Despite the heat and humidity in the East today and a surge of intense heat and humidity coming out of the central and southern Plains for a brief period of time, cool air will dominate the pattern through the end of July from the Plains to the Appalachians.
A pattern of extremes is once again unfolding across the country over the next week, with two shots of cool air interspersed with intense heat.
Despite the heat over the central and southern Rockies this week, an amplified pattern means cool air will dominate in much of the country for the rest of July.
Heat will resurface over the eastern Rockies and Plains this weekend and early next week, but the warming in the East will be much slower.
In the wake of the deep upper-level trough over the Great Lakes to the Tennessee Valley, a strong upper-level ridge is poised to blossom over the Rockies, one that will bring on the heat this weekend into the start of next week.
Beyond the big chill now engulfing the Plains, it will turn warmer and more humid in the East back into the Ohio Valley. The heat will be turned up in the northern and eastern Rockies and northern Plains into the Midwest this weekend into early next week.