A quieter week of weather is in store for the nation overall this week, but we still have several stories that we’re watching for you. This includes a widespread freeze and dominant chill, flood risks in Texas, unusual pattern in the Southwest, and a toasty Florida and Pacific Northwest.
This is your 5 things to watch this week.
This morning, freeze alerts span from Washington to Ohio as millions deal with freezing or near-freezing conditions, marking an end to the growing season for 2018. This comes as a big trough of low pressure sweeps across western and central parts of the nation early week, resulting in low temperatures around the freezing mark for more than half of the US. Temperatures should relax by midweek with lows returning to the 30s (above freezing) and 40s across much of the region, while the Northeast experiences a substantial chill Thursday and Friday morning. Some towns may even record daily low temperatures. A new round of freezing air may then return to the Midwest by the end of this coming weekend.
— Dan Baumgardt (@DanBaumgardt) October 15, 2018
Texas Flood Risk:
Flash flooding will threaten a large portion of Texas, especially early this week as multiple rounds of showers and storms impact the region. According to the Weather Prediction Center, there is a Slight Risk (10-20 percent) for flash flooding across central and northeastern parts of the state. Surges of deep tropical moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will move northward while interacting with a low pressure system near the Texas coastline. The northern half of Texas can expect a moderate to high risk for rain during the work week, with that risk shifting to the southern half of the state by the weekend. Within the next 7 days, a large area can expect 3-5 inches of rain with localized areas receiving over half a foot.
Unusual Southwestern Pattern:
The start of this week will feature very unusual weather for the Southwest: snow, ice, freezing rain, and significantly below average temperatures. According to Head Meteorologist Joshua Feldman, “An uncanny weather pattern will soon bring weather conditions typical of December in New York City to the region, spreading winter-weather as far south as the US – Mexico border! The culprits behind this bizarre weather are a series of three potent shortwave troughs spanning from Canada to Mexico. Each trough will help arctic air penetrate deeper into the continental subtropics. Threats from this winter blast include hard freeze, snow, sleet, freezing rain, and flash flooding.”
Read more about this story in this week’s Sunday Storm.
Warm Florida and Pacific Northwest:
While most of the country deals with below average temperatures this week, two areas that will not be feeling these cooler conditions are Florida and the Pacific Northwest. The warm waters surrounding Florida coupled with its southern latitude will prevent cooler air from surging into it. Instead, highs will generally be near to around 5 degrees above average for the foreseeable future, meaning actual high temperatures will range from the mid 80s to mid 90s, which will break record daily high temperatures in some inland locations. Meanwhile in the Pacific Northwest, coastal areas will be feeling temperatures as much as 25 degrees above normal, especially early week. That heat will then expand to the remainder of the northwestern US starting Wednesday. Actual high temperatures will mainly be in the 60s and 70s, but as we know those temperatures will vary in the mountainous areas.
Fall Chill Elsewhere:
Meanwhile across the rest of the country, a fall chill will be in place as multiple troughs of low pressure coming in from Canada allow cooler than normal temperatures to pour into the contiguous US. The most extreme of the cold relative to average will take place Monday and Tuesday across the southern Plains. Highs will be up to 50 degrees below average, and in some cases it may even snow. Across the rest of the country it will generally be closer to 5 to 15 degrees below normal before a new burst of cool air arrives this weekend to the eastern US. That new round of below average temperatures may even intrude northern portions of Florida.