Much of US to experience break from major storms into early December

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
November 25, 2017, 2:05:30 AM EST

There is good news for people with travel or outdoor plans the next couple of weeks as much of the nation will be free from the effects of major storms.

With the exception of the northwestern United States in the short term and perhaps California toward the end of next week, the main storm track will reside over southern Canada.

The pattern into the first part of December will feature a tremendous lack of snow for the Central and Eastern states, aside from a few patches downwind of the Great Lakes.

The lack of snow may have some people struggling to get into the Christmas spirit but will make outdoor decorating and shopping much easier overall.

Static AP Christmas Tree Farm

Fog drifts through a Christmas tree farm near Starks Mountain, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, in Fryeburg, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

"We expect a relatively fast west to east jet stream pattern," according to AccuWeather Long-Range Meteorologist Evan Duffey.

The jet stream is a river of air at the level where jets cruise. The jet stream is effectively the storm track.

"This fast flow will prevent any storm that moves inland from the Pacific Ocean to struggle to get moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean," Duffey said.

Even though most storms will travel north of the Canada border, some cold air will be able to filter southward into the northern tier of the U.S. in the wake of each storm.

Static Fast Jet US

One such batch of cold air will affect the Midwest and Northeast this weekend.

Some of the warmth that has built up over the West in recent days also will be pulled across the Midwest and East for a time next week.

While a press of chilly air will follow that warmth during the middle to latter part of next week, any thunderstorms marking the leading edge of that chilly air over the Plains and Midwest are unlikely to turn severe.

While there will be a weak, secondary storm track from the Gulf of Mexico to the western Atlantic, the southern and northern storm tracks are unlikely to merge and produce a giant storm in the Midwest and East into the first part of December.

This is not to say that a weak storm may tap just enough cold air to produce a narrow swath of snow for a day in part of the Midwest and Northeast. There is a remote chance of such an event later next week.

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Farther ahead, it is possible the main storm track changes later during the first week of December, according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.

"There is some indication that a storm track may develop from the central Rockies to the Upper Midwest around or after Dec. 5," Pastelok said.

If this pattern develops, lower-than-average temperatures may develop in the West, while warmth builds and above-average temperatures become more consistent in the East during the first half of December.

A mild and relatively snowless pattern into part of December may pose challenges for the ski industry and people who depend on income from snow removal.

However, many home and business owners may save some money on heating costs in parts of the Central and Eastern states prior to the official start of winter in late December.

AccuWeather's long-range team of meteorologists still expect colder air to take root over the North Central states during the second half of December. The number of storms and opportunities for snow in parts of the Midwest and interior Northeast are likely to ramp up during that time as well.

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