Memorial Day Weekend 2010 Weather Outlook

May 26, 2010; 8:30 AM ET
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Play video Mark highlights the expected weather across the nation for the weekend.

Millions of Americans will be hitting the highways, back country roads, attending services, viewing parades or staying home chill'n and grill'n this weekend. As is usually the case the weather will cooperate in some areas and will be a nuisance in others.

Weather systems will be moving along this weekend, although be it a bit slowly in some areas. That means there is a good chance you will have some rain and also sunshine at some point spanning Saturday, Sunday and Memorial Day. Here is how things pan out region by region, East to West:

East

With the Atlantic storm out of the picture by the weekend, weather systems will tend to move from south to north in the eastern third of the nation.

A batch of heavy showers and thunderstorms will drop southward Friday night and Saturday, moving from the mid-Atlantic to the Southeast.

While much of the time Saturday through Monday will be free of rain in the Northeast, drenching showers and thunderstorms could be a problem each day through the weekend in the Southeast.

It is possible enough dry air mixes southward from the mid-Atlantic by later Sunday into Monday, that the activity is toned down in the Carolinas including around Charlotte for racing.

Midwest

The area from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi Valley should be in a slot of generally rain free conditions Saturday through Sunday.

Keep in mind the cluster of showers and thunderstorms will affect part of the Tennessee Valley each day.

An approaching cold front from the Rockies may drag locally severe thunderstorms eastward from a line from Minnesota/Wisconsin to Kansas Sunday to much of the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and southern Plains by Memorial Day.

No real organized weather systems are in store for Texas, but a stray thunderstorm cannot be ruled out in eastern, coastal and far western areas each day.

Rockies

Simply put, southern areas will be rain free the vast majority of the time, while northern areas will not.

A storm pushing inland from the Pacific Ocean will take the better part of the weekend to leave the Intermountain West. Look for areas of rain and embedded thunderstorms each day from Idaho to the western part of the Dakotas. Snow will fall over the highest elevations.

There may be some improvement on Memorial Day itself in the northern areas.

Over the Four Corners states, the greatest threat to your outdoor plans will be pop-up afternoon and early evening thunderstorms. While most of the time will be rain free, the storms tend to develop rapidly during the afternoon and can begin to put down cloud to ground lightning strikes without notice.

A few of the storms from the mountains of New Mexico to Wyoming can bring isolated flash flooding. Avoid camping along streams and arroyos. Don't hike over the ridges in the afternoon if you see big increase in puffy clouds. Be careful with those came fires and observe burning bans if in place.

West Coast

The storm that brought rain and thunderstorms to the central and northern coastal areas at midweek will continue to push slowly inland. However, it will continue to bring a big cool push and gusty winds for a time into the first part of the weekend.

While spotty showers and thunderstorms may bubble up over part of eastern Washington and Oregon Saturday, most areas from California to western Washington will be dry Saturday and Sunday.

A new system may roll into coastal Washington and Oregon on Monday with clouds and showers, but rain should stay away from California this time.

Don't Become Another Statistic

Weather-related deaths claim thousands of lives annually in the U.S.

Use caution when swimming this weekend. Take breaks often as water temperatures are still quite chilly this time of the year and can lead to cramping and drowning.

If you will be soaking up the sun or working in the heat this weekend, remember don't over do it and use sun screen.

Thunderstorms are often very localized and difficult to predict days in advance. Don't be caught off guard by sudden summer storms and the lightning they produce. If you hear thunder, lightning can strike your location.

Keep checking your local forecast, radars and weather alerts here at AccuWeather.com this weekend.

By Alex Sosnowski, Expert Senior Meteorologist, AccuWeather.com

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