AccuWeather.com meteorologists are monitoring the potential for a pattern shift late this week and next weekend which could lead to an all-out blizzard in the northern Plains.
A large dip in the jet stream is forecast to develop over the West on Thursday into Friday and this energy could spark the first blizzard of the season for the northern Rockies and parts of the northern Plains.
Meanwhile, cool air in the West means that a warm-up is in store for the East. Temperatures could soar into the upper 60s to near 70 in places such as Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Richmond by next weekend.
Chill Returns to the West, Blizzard in the Plains?
Record heat is expected around Los Angeles and the Inland Empire on Monday with warmth persisting into midweek.
However, much cooler air is on the way with the return of an onshore flow on Wednesday night into Thursday. This onshore flow will be caused by the aforementioned dip in the jet stream and a pool of cooler air aloft. Temperatures down to the surface will fall from the 90s early this week into the 60s by Thursday and Friday. There is even the chance of some showers in the Southland on Thursday night into Friday.
This dip in the jet stream will extend farther east, fueling the development of a low pressure system on the leeside of the Rockies on Friday.
This storm will send a wintry air mass into the northern Rockies and eventually into parts of the Dakotas by the early part of the weekend. Depending on how much moisture this storm can tap into, the potential exists for a period of heavy snow and strong, gusty winds next weekend, which could lead to near-blizzard conditions in cities like Miles City, Mont., Minot, N.D., and Bismarck, N.D.
While there is still some uncertainty to the track and strength of the storm system, all signs do point to the major cooldown across the western part of the country.
Such a storm, should it develop as expected, could also trigger a bout of severe weather over the central Plains from Iowa through Oklahoma sometime next weekend.
Warming in the East
After another coastal storm takes aim on the mid-Atlantic and Northeast on Wednesday and Thursday, a much nicer weather pattern is expected to build into this region by Friday with much above-normal temperatures returning next weekend.
This is welcome news after Sandy ravaged much of the mid-Atlantic and southern New England coast.
Drier air will move in by Thursday night and Friday with a good deal of sunshine expected for really the entire Eastern Seaboard on Saturday into Sunday.
Temperatures are expected to rise to near 70 degrees from Philadelphia through Richmond and down into the Carolinas by Saturday. The 60s could make a return to New York City and Boston by the latter half of the weekend, which would allow for pleasant conditions while cleanup efforts are on-going.
Keep checking back to AccuWeather.com over the next few days as we continue to monitor the expected warm-up in the East late this week and also the blizzard potential in the northern Plains.
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