As an unsettled pattern builds across the US this week, impacts will be felt by most of the country. Severe storms will ravage the Central US with tornadoes, hail, and flooding downpours. Meanwhile, a late-April heavy snow can be expected for parts of the Rockies, even at lower elevations. In complete contrast, the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic can expect abnormally warm temperatures for this time of year.

Welcome to the Tuesday edition of your Morning Briefing, where we’ll give you a quick rundown on everything you need to know weather-wise, every weekday morning. Let’s jump right in.

Severe Weather Risk – Tornadoes, Hail, and Flash Flooding Through Wednesday:

  1. Severe weather has tormented those in the Central US since Sunday evening, continuing today and Wednesday as well. The worst will come tonight, when damaging winds, hail, flooding downpours, and isolated tornadoes scatter throughout the region.
  2. Today, a short round of lightning and thunder this morning will be followed by a warming period and then another round of dangerous severe storms. The worst will begin to develop late this afternoon as soon as daytime heating has ramped instabilities back up over TX, OK, and KS. Storms will move eastward as they intensify overnight.
  3. Damaging straight-line winds, hail, and isolated tornadoes will be among the biggest threats with these storms, and will mostly wreak havoc into the night, making dangers even harder to spot. Flash and road flooding is also likely this evening, as heavy downpours can be expected within these storms. The greatest threats for all severe weather, especially flash flooding and high winds, will fall over eastern OK, southeast KS, northwest AR, and southern MO.
  4. Severe weather and some flooding will continue into Wednesday. While the region of scattered severe weather risk will be higher, storms are expected to be much less potent than Tuesday’s. Still, it is important to heed any warnings of severe weather or flooding. Some damaging winds, moderately-sized hail, and heavy rain is still possible within Wednesday’s storms.

Heavy Snow over the Rockies:

  1. To the west, low pressure will build aloft, allowing colder air to flow into the Rockies from the North. As temperatures drop over the mountains, there will still be enough moisture and orographic lift for significant snowfall through Wednesday, even for lower elevations.
  2. After 4-6″ of snow fell last night over parts of the Central Rockies, driving this morning will be slippery and difficult. Snow will continue to fall throughout the day, further diminishing driving conditions.
  3. Another round of heavy snow is expected to move in tonight. Additional accumulations up to 8″ will coat the Rockies and once again make driving nearly impossible overnight due to low visibility and slippery roads.
  4. By Wednesday, snow will have tapered off from west to east, leaving accumulations up to 14″ in higher elevations and up to 8″ in the foothills. In the surrounding Plains, a coating to 4-6″ can be expected.

Above Average Heat for Southeast:

  1. Our upper-air pattern is the reason behind the highly contrasted temperatures this week. To the west, low pressure aloft means lower temperatures (leading to snowy mountains), but to the east, hot Gulf air moves into the region. Throughout the week, this warmth will continue to creep up, bringing above average temps as far north as the Mid-Atlantic by the end of Friday.
  2. Temperatures will soar in the Southeast this week as high pressure aloft allows flow straight from the Gulf into the region. This means that above average temperatures in the high 80s will be paired with intense moisture as well, making this week humid and muggy.
  3. As high pressure builds aloft, warm air will continue to make its way north, reaching the Mid-Atlantic near the end of the week. Thursday and Friday, temperatures will reach into the 60s and 70s as far north as NYC, hovering around there likely through the beginning of the weekend while also being accompanied by multiple rounds of rain and showers.

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Kathleen is a Meteorologist at WeatherOptics, where she works writing content for the website, providing accurate and detailed forecasts to clients, and consulting on various meteorological projects. Kathleen earned her B.S. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences in 2018 from Stony Brook University. Kathleen has also done research into our changing climate by investigating theRole of Atmospheric Rivers on Arctic Amplification in 2017.

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