An active weather pattern will keep much of the US occupied this week. Despite the winter season though, snow will continue to be lackluster across many areas as warmer than normal air temperatures dominate. Here’s your 5 Things to Watch this week:
An early-week snow event has begun to affect parts of the Northeast. As a low pressure off the New England coast brings moisture onshore while cold, freezing air flows in from the north, snow will be seen across much of Maine today. Even some snow has been spotted in the Boston area, but little to none accumulation is expected there compared to the several inches in Maine.
Behind this storm will then be an Arctic cold front, which will usher in very cold air. As this cold air pours into the Northeast Monday into Tuesday, snow showers will form near the eastern Great Lakes and across northern portions of New England. These generally light snow squalls may produce a quick 1-2 inches of snow at some locations.
Another Northwest Storm:
An active storm track will bring three storms into the Northwest this week. The first will arrive late in the day Monday, lasting into Tuesday and bringing heavy rain to the coast and lower elevations while heavy snow comes down in the mountains. Precipitation this year has actually been below normal in the Northwest, so all of this incoming rain and snow this week will be very welcome. A foot of snow can be expected for higher elevations while several inches of rain will fall along the coast.
Warm Winter Feels:
A general zonal flow weather pattern this week will allow for above average temperatures across most of the nation, making for a coast-to-coast warm up. This would be a major story if this were to take place in the summer, as that would make for high temperatures in the 90s and 100s. However, since it is winter it will still be cool outside despite this “warm up.” Temperatures to start the week will be warmest relative to average in the northern Plains at up to 25 degrees above normal. Meanwhile in the Northeast, temperatures will be up to 20 degrees below average early-week thanks to that Arctic front. By the end of this week, however, much of the US will be experiencing temperatures of generally 5-15 degrees above normal.
A late-week storm will form over the South on Thursday, making for a wet end to the week across most of the eastern US. The key ingredient that will be missing, however, is the cold air, keeping this a rain event for almost everyone. Rain and heavy thunderstorms will be in the forecast for most people east of the Mississippi River between Wednesday and Friday. Then as cold air tries to flow in from the north behind this storm, that may lead to a brief round of light snow to parts of the Great Lakes region and the Appalachian Mountains.
Christmas is about one week away, so the big question is: will there be a white Christmas? Given this week’s warm up, the chance for a white Christmas across the country overall will be lower than normal, but there will still be regions that will experience snow on the ground Christmas morning.
The best chances for a white Christmas this year but be in the mountainous regions of the West, in parts of the Great Lakes region, and in northern New England. We’ll continue to update the map below as the forecast confidence increases.