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.
The pieces are falling into place for a powerful storm to develop in the central Plains this afternoon and strengthen tomorrow night as it crosses Pennsylvania into southern and eastern New England.
While the deep winter cold is on a temporary hiatus, it will come back in the wake of a potent storm at midweek, a storm that will deposit its heaviest snow on New York state and northern New England.
Once the storm off the Carolina coast pulls away from the coast tonight, the weather pattern will be rather quiet in much of the country into early next week, and it will also be rather mild in much of the nation. That will all change with a storm during the middle of next week that could dump heavy snow from parts of the Ohio Valley to the Northeast, and it will be followed by another blast of very cold air for the second half of next week into next weekend.
Cold and wintry weather is not leaving any time soon, though there will be a couple of breaks in the cold over the next week that will offer up some spring teases.
The worst of the bitter arctic air is easing over the next 24 hours, but there's still plenty of cold air in the pattern, and there will be a storm next week that may spell trouble as it runs from the Northwest early Monday to the East late Wednesday.
A record-setting cold air mass is in place from the southern Plains to the East Coast today. It will ease later this week, and another of its kind is unlikely, but the pattern remains cold for much of the next two weeks.