Thursday, 11:50 a.m.
Even though the system on the Plains is hardly a potent one in terms of the depth or intensity of the surface low pressure found on the current weather map, there has been a lot of active weather with it, including flooding downpours, heavy rain and some severe weather. In fact, we barely have a 1000mb low on the map in Missouri, according to the latest mesoanalysis:
Nevertheless, there's been a lot of rain in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri into Illinois, and we're far from done with the rain. There's also been some severe weather over the past 24 hours:
Severe weather risks this afternoon and tonight run from the western and central Gulf Coast all the way to the Ohio Valley:
As we go into the day tomorrow, the threat of severe weather will fade as the front charges over the Appalachians and the upper-level support tracks northeastward quickly into Quebec and away from the source region for the thunderstorms. There will still be some rain and thunder, but the severity will be lacking, and the intensity of the rain will also diminish.
As one storm fades, another will approach the Northwest. Here's the 12z Oct. 31 NAM surface forecast for Saturday morning:
This storm will move through Washington and Oregon fairly quickly on Saturday, but as it rolls inland, it will generate quite a bit of rain and some powerful winds that may gusty over 50 mph for a time. While that may not seem too bad of a storm, it will actually be the first salvo fired for the development of a more potent storm downstream next week, one that has similar characteristics to the one now moving across the Plains toward the Midwest and Great Lakes.
Between these two systems, the weather will be rather benign. High pressure will build into the Rockies tomorrow night and out onto the Plains to foster plenty of sunshine. While the air mass initially will be cool, it will moderate over the weekend as the high exits and the new trough begins to dig into the West later this weekend.
Behind a weaker, moisture-starved trough exiting the Northeast on Sunday, another surface high will build across the northern Great Lakes toward New England. That will set up a cold night Sunday night across the Northeast, and temperatures will be slow to recover early next week until the high gets off the coast. Once the new storm gets better reorganized on the Plains by Tuesday, though, a strong southerly flow of air from the Gulf of Mexico will once again send warm and increasingly moist air charging northward into the southern and eastern Plains and Mississippi Valley. That will set the stage for another moist system with some severe weather during the middle of next week.
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.