The first full week of meteorological winter is here now that December has arrived, and signs of snow continue to increase, possibly from coast-to-coast this week. Here’s 5 things to watch.

Cross-Country Snowstorm:

The model guidance continues to hint at the potential for a cross-country winter storm later this week into the weekend. As two disturbances come together over the southern Plains while cold air flows in from the north, that may lead to snow or a wintry mix across parts of New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma. Then as the strengthening low pressure moves east along the Gulf Coast, that will bring heavy rain and thunderstorms to the Gulf Coast states and Southeast while wintry weather possibly affects the Tennessee River Valley and southern Appalachian Mountains. Based on some of the guidance, the frozen precipitation may extend as far south as the northern suburbs of Atlanta, at least for a brief time. All eyes will then shift to the East Coast by the end of the weekend into early-next week as this low pressure potentially develops into a nor’easter. Now while the track of this low remains highly uncertain, the threat for snow will exist from the Carolinas all the way up through New England.

Read more about this storm in this week’s Sunday Storm.

Stormy California:

It seems like the active storm track has been unleashed as rounds of storms continue to slam into the West Coast. This week, we’ll be watching a weak low pressure make “landfall” into Southern California on Thursday, but the statewide rain will begin on Wednesday and may persist through Friday. Mountain snow will also be in the cards for the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada. Several feet of snow is expected to accumulate. With a drought in place for a good portion of the state, this is definitely welcome relief. The small risk for flash flooding and mudslides will exist, however, especially near the burn scars from the past wildfires.

Northeast Snow Showers:

Despite limited moisture in place, the cold, freezing air will be persistent early- to mid- week, allowing for the chance for light snow showers this entire week across the Ohio River Valley, Great Lakes, and interior Northeast. On Monday, there will be a disturbance moving through, ushering in. a line of light snow across the interior Northeast, possibly dropping a couple inches to several locations. Once that clears out, it will be more of a hit or miss snow shower event with no actual storm system in place. It’s not until Friday when a new disturbance may bring a more widespread round of light snow to the region.

Nationwide Chill:

Coast-to-coast, the chances are very high that you will be experiencing below average temperatures this entire week as a dominant flow of chilly air from Canada invades the Lower 48. The central US will be affected hardest by this cold spell with temperatures as much as 30 degrees below average on Monday, then again Thursday through Saturday. Meanwhile across the East Coast, temperatures will actually be up to 15 degrees above average on Monday before a cold front leads to cooler weather for the rest of the week. Highs will generally be 5 to 15 degrees below normal. Even Florida will experience this cool down by Wednesday before temperatures rebound back into the 80s just in time for the weekend.

Rare Midwest Tornado Outbreak:

A rather robust storm system took aim at the Midwest Saturday, producing a rare and unusual tornado outbreak across parts of the region. 22 twisters were reported across central Illinois. To put that into perspective, the state receives an average of 47 tornadoes per year. Damage to homes and buildings were reported in numerous towns in addition to the downed power lines, leading to thousands without power. At least 21 people were injured.


Jackson is Head of Content and Social Media at WeatherOptics. He is currently a student at the University of Miami, studying Meteorology and Broadcast Journalism. Dill produces forecast articles for the website and helps to manage the content schedule. He has also led the growth of WeatherOptics’ social media accounts, working to keep them aligned with the company’s evolving vision.

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