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An active weather week is ahead across the US as we continue to transition into the winter season. We’re tracking the most impactful weather events that will affect the nation this week. This is your 5 Things to Watch for this week. 2018-19 Winter Forecast: Are you in for a cold and snowy winter or a wet and dry one? We discuss what you can expect this winter season region-by-region and take your through the science behind our forecast. Be sure to check out the WeatherOptics forecast this evening at weatheroptics.net. Severe Weather Outbreak: A severe weather outbreak is becoming increasingly likely today into tonight across the Mississippi and Tennessee River Valleys. As a well-developed area of low pressure associated with an upper-level trough swing east across the middle of the country, that and several other ingredients such as instability and wind shear will fuel the formation of dangerous thunderstorms. These storms will threaten…

As an upper-level trough tracks east while a surface low pressure moves northeast from the Gulf Coast, the development of rain and even some thunderstorms will begin to affect the Northeast on Thursday. This will continue into Friday as all of the moisture tracks eastward. Typically, surface low pressures will result in both a warm front and a cold front. A warm frontal boundary will span across the eastern Great Lakes and into northern New England, bringing light rain showers to much of the region on Thursday. Back to the south and west, there will be a cold front across the Ohio River Valley. Between these two boundaries — south of the warm front and east of the cold front — is what we call the warm sector. This area of relatively warmer, moist air that is forecast to gradually stabilize through tonight, leading to the small risk for a…

A strengthening low pressure over the southern Plains will track to the north and east, ending up in the Northeast by the end of this week. As the cold front associated with this low tracks to the east, that will lead to rounds of severe weather from the southern Plains to Southeast. All threats for dangerous weather will be present, including damaging winds, small hail, and a few tornadoes. This afternoon, the severe weather focus will span from central Texas through Mississippi. The best risk for the most intense of storms will be found across southeastern Texas, much of Louisiana, and possibly into southwestern Mississippi. This comes as a strong, widespread line of thunderstorms roars east while a few supercells possibly form ahead of the line, indicating that tornado risk. Typically with these severe weather events, the threat subsides once the sun sets due to the decrease in instability, but…