No large storm systems are expected to impact the US this week but there will still be weather to watch. This includes a snow and ice buildup for parts of the nation while other areas deal with unseasonably warm temperatures. We have the details on that and more in this week’s 5 Things to Watch.

West Coast Snow:

Another storm system affecting the West will continue to bring unsettled weather to the region, especially early-week. Heavy snow will be possible for the mountains on the West Coast, including the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Several feet of snow is expected, with somewhat lighter snow accumulations across the interior mountains of the West. Meanwhile, in the valleys and lower elevation areas, rain will come especially in Southern California, a region of the West that has been rather wet as of late. By midweek, the weather will begin to quiet down.

Midwest Snow and Ice:

A new disturbance will move through the central US midweek, producing a round of snow and ice for parts of the Plains, Midwest, and even the Northeast. On Tuesday, a disorganized area of light snow will break out across the northern Plains before more organized snow and ice develops by late in the day across the Midwest, affecting cities like Minneapolis and Des Moines. Then overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, we’ll have to watch for an area of freezing rain, which will make for icy conditions across the southern Great Lakes. This ice may affect Chicago and Detroit while a light snow falls to the north. By Wednesday night, some snow and ice will need to be watched across the interior Northeast and in New England, but details are yet to be determined.

ECMWF model precipitation forecast Tuesday night

Late-Week Storm:

A weak storm system is forecast to form over the Plains late-week, bringing a round of snow to parts of the Plains and Midwest while rain affects a big chunk of the East. Impacts will begin Thursday as a widespread swath of light snow breaks out across the northern and central Plains and Midwest. Rain will be the story to the south and east across the Lower and Mid Mississippi River Valleys and in the Ohio River Valley. On Friday, showers will track toward the East Coast and either weaken or dissipate when they reach the Southeast. We’ll also need to watch for a brief transition from rain to snow in parts of the interior Northeast and in the central Appalachian Mountains. Snowfall totals will be limited and light in most areas, however.

Milder East:

Following the Polar Vortex’s brutal cold last week, this new week will definitely feature relatively comfortable and warm temperatures as highs soar to levels of up to 30 degrees above average. Through most of the work week, highs will generally be 15 to 25 degrees warmer than normal across the East Coast and in the South, meaning that temperatures will range from the 40s to 80s in different areas. On Tuesday, parts of the I-95 corridor in the Northeast may even get into the 60s. Cooler temperatures will arrive for the weekend, but it won’t be as cold as last week.

Chilly West:

Meanwhile across the West, a dip in the jet stream will keep temperatures quite cool, especially given the fact that the weather pattern will be active for this part of the country. Temperatures will be coolest relative to average in the interior Northwest and northern Plains — highs will be up to 50 degrees below normal. Across the West though, temperatures will mainly be 15 to 30 degrees below average.


Jackson is Head of Content at WeatherOptics and produces several forecasts and manages all social media platforms. Previously, Jackson forecasted local weather for southwestern Connecticut, founding his website, Jackson's Weather, in the March of 2015. He is currently studying Meteorology and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Miami.

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