As one of the first nor’easters of the winter season (took until March!) exits the Northeast after dumping heavy snow last night, a period of quieter weather will settle into the US early-week before we track another risk of snow mid- to late- week across parts of the nation. This comes as cold, chilly air remains dominant across most of the Lower 48 this week. This is your Five Things to Watch.

Nor’easter Exits Northeast:

March has arrived, and with it was one of the first nor’easters of the season. This significant snowstorm dumped a widespread 6-12 inches throughout parts of the I-95 corridor, and some of its impacts are still being felt this morning. While snow has ended across the Mid-Atlantic and western New England, the nor’easter will continue to dump a moderate amount of snow on the coastal areas of New England, especially Maine, through Monday morning. A mix of rain and snow is expected in parts of southeastern New England through midday while snow falls throughout much of the day farther north. By this evening, however, expect all of the precipitation to end across the Northeast as the nor’easter tracks into Canada.

Eastern US Arctic Outbreak:

An outbreak of very cold temperatures for this time of the year begins to settle in across the eastern two-thirds of the nation. The coldest of air relative to normal will be found in the Plains, where high temperatures will be up to 40 degrees below average early-week. While the East Coast won’t be as cold, temperatures will generally be 5-15 degrees below average this week. Now as the week progresses, temperatures will warm up and will actually become above average across the South by this weekend, with highs in the 60s and 70s.

Temperature departures from average Monday. Credit: NWS/WeatherBELL

Quiet Nation Early-Week:

As the nor’easter departs from New England, the cold front associated with it will sweep through the entire eastern US, making for very quiet weather across the nation overall to begin the new week. Generally sunny skies but chilly air will be the story nationwide other than some passing showers in the Southeast Monday into Tuesday. By Wednesday, however, we’ll begin to watch the development of our next storm system begin on the West Coast.

Atmospheric River:

Yet another atmospheric river event will affect the West Coast midweek. These rivers of deep, tropical moisture have been quite common this winter season, which has been very helpful to the western drought. In fact only 2 percent of the state is currently dealing with a drought. Compare this to this time last year, where nearly half of the state was in a drought. Rain from this latest atmospheric river will begin to move into California Tuesday afternoon and last into Thursday before a new storm system moves in late-week. Meanwhile in the mountains, plentiful snow will fall in the Sierra Nevada, Cascade Mountains, and the northern and central Rocky Mountains mid- to late- week.

Current drought monitor for California. Credit: Brad Rippey/US Department of Agriculture

Weekend Storm:

The storm system slowly moving into the Southwest late-week will evolve into our next large-scale storm system, which will impact the rest of the nation this coming weekend. Since we are forecasting this storm 5-7 days out in time, uncertainty remains high, but there will be snow, rain, and possibly freezing rain that will affect the eastern half of the nation during this time frame. Where these different types of precipitation will fall, how much, and when exactly is unknown at this time, so stay tuned for additional details.


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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