While parts of the East and Southwest will be free of rain this Memorial Day, repeating storms will continue to bring flash flooding and drought relief to the southern Plains.
The sun will shine on much of the Ohio Valley, the mid-Atlantic, California and the Great Basin, as well as portions of the central Gulf coast on Memorial Day. Many of these areas will experience near- to above-average warmth.
For the Northeast, the warmth will lack staying power for midweek.
Spotty showers and thunderstorms will affect the Southeastern states, mainly in the afternoon, in what otherwise be a warm day with clouds and sunshine. Cities in the Southeast that may be affected by a pop-up thunderstorm include Atlanta, Orlando, Florida, and Charlotte, North Carolina.
People in both northern corners of the nation will have to wait out and dodge showers on Monday with unsettled conditions for part of New England and the Northwest. Both areas will be near the edge of building warmth to the south and cool conditions to the north. Cities that may be impacted by wet weather include Seattle and Portland (both Maine and Oregon).
By far, the most unsettled zone of the nation will be centered on the Plains. Showers and thunderstorms will repeat in this zone during much of the Memorial Day weekend. Plenty of moisture will be funneled northward from Mexico and across the south-central part of the United States.
Memorial Day forecast from AccuWeather.com MinuteCast™ has the minute-by-minute forecast for your exact location. Type your city name, select MinuteCast™, and input your street address. On mobile, you can also use your GPS location.
The downpours will affect the cities of Dallas, Denver, Oklahoma City, and Kansas City, Missouri. The rain can slow travel in the I-20, I-35, I-40 and I-70 corridors.
While the rainfall will delay and even totally foil some outdoor activities, the rain will have a double-edged sword.
The training effect of the rainfall will raise the risk of flash and urban flooding from portions of eastern New Mexico, west and central Texas to portions of Oklahoma, and much of Kansas.
However, beyond the problems for outdoor activities, the usual risk flash flooding brings, and the potential for some severe thunderstorms, the rainfall will bring great benefit to the region by hacking away at drought conditions.
In addition to downpours, some of the thunderstorms across the southern Plains will turn severe with damaging winds and hail.
Much of this area has experienced building drought since the middle of 2013. The drought reached exceptional proportions this spring and caused water supplies to shrivel. In addition to the strain on communities, the drought has had serious impact on agriculture in the region.
The wet weather pattern will continue into midweek and is likely to mark the beginning of the end of the drought for many areas.
Already on Thursday, Amarillo, Texas, received its biggest single-day rainfall since Feb. 25, 2013, with 1.21 inches falling. On Feb. 25, 1.48 inches of rain fell.
Roswell, New Mexico, was inundated by 4.39 inches of rain Saturday morning, breaking the airport's all-time 24-hour rainfall record. The previous record was 4.34 inches on July 13, 1991.
Rainfall amounts from Saturday night to midday Sunday topped 4.50 inches in San Angelo, Texas.
Many areas over the southern and central High Plains have the potential to double their rainfall since last summer with local amounts of 3 to 6 inches into midweek.
According to AccuWeather Long-Range Expert Paul Pastelok, "We expect additional rain from the summer monsoon to kick in early over much of the central and southern High Plains and should go a long way to further dent the drought."
It will take considerable time in many cases to bring water levels back to normal but this is a great step in the right direction.
The rain will slice east of water-needy areas of California and Nevada.
As a large storm rolls out of the Plains and Midwest, a swath of snow, ice and travel disruptions will extend into the Northeast starting on Sunday evening.
A new storm will form over the weekend across the Plains and will spread snow and ice eastward through the Midwest.
As a snowstorm unraveled from Texas to North Carolina and Virginia, snow and ice left a trail of disruption on Wednesday into Thursday.
Residents in Spokane, Washington, recently caught sight of the unique phenomenon known as "hole punch" clouds that cause a gaping hole in the otherwise cloudy sky.
Storms will continue to affect the West through this weekend and into next week with rounds of precipitation for some needy areas as well as trouble for travelers.
While much of central and eastern North America is still locked in a deep freeze, the warmth cascading across the Pacific Northwest in recent weeks has sparked the early flowering of sakura blossoms in the region.
New England (1717)
First of a series of storms of The Great Snow which finally left about 36" on ground, held Boston snowbound for 3 weeks. Great barometric depression moved across Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri and Illinois. Lowest pressure 28.71" at Springfield, IL.
Harrisburg, IL (1999)
A thunderstorm wind gust to 80 mph causing a roof to be blown off a house and a car to be blown off the road.