While much of the nation is enjoying unseasonably warm temperatures this week, things are about to change for millions of people. A blast of chilly air and accompanying precipitation may even provide the first snowfall of the year for some areas of the country. Here is what you need to know about this quickly arriving weather system.
Cool Front Moving Through Large Swath of Country: If you have been enjoying summer-like temperatures over the last few days, you better be making the most of it now. Starting on Thursday, much cooler temperatures will start making their way into the Upper Mississippi Valley and the Central and Southern Plains. By Friday and Saturday, these temperatures will push into the eastern sections of the US.Read More »
Highs for the day will be 20 to 30 degrees cooler than Wednesday. Locations east of the Mississippi River will see much cooler weather Friday and Saturday as the strong front continues to move eastward. For example, areas of the Midwest that had been enjoying temperatures in the 80s the last few days will struggle to get into the 60s. Regions to the north will be even cooler.
Precipitation Forecast: Despite the huge drop in temperatures, the country will see a relatively dry pattern over the next few days. However, late Friday will bring increasingly wet weather throughout New England and into the coastal Mid-Atlantic. Parts of the Northern Rockies will see a good chance of rain. In addition, the Northern High Plains will also see the possibility of wet weather toward the end of the week. There is the possibility of snow in the far northern reaches of the Montana Rockies.
The wintry weather may move eastward and mix with rain in parts of North Dakota and northern Minnesota. In addition to the precipitation, the front is expected to bring blustery conditions to the Midwest as it moves south on Thursday.
The greatest chance for precipitation will come late in the weekend and into Monday. Current forecast models suggest a possible snow event taking hold in the Rocky Mountains on Sunday, spreading into the Dakotas and Minnesota throughout the day Monday. Some models are even showing the chance of snow in cities as far south as Indianapolis and Cleveland as early as Sunday night.
Meanwhile Out West: There will be no relief for areas of the Southwest and California. Temperatures in this part of the country continue to push the extreme. Coupled with low humidity levels and gusty winds, it is no surprise that California continues to see a high level of fire threat. This elevated danger is expected to remain throughout the week and into the weekend.
While firefighters have been able to gain control over most of the fires, there are still
11,000 firefighters battling 20 wildfires throughout California. 13 of the fires are considered to major in scope and size. On Tuesday, crews responded to 24 new blazes but were able to bring all of them under full containment relatively quickly.
Red Flag Warning: A Red Flag Warning is in effect for parts of Northern California because of the presence of critical fire weather. The hot weather will be exasperated by a weak cold front moving into the region, bringing windy conditions and low humidity with it. This front arrived on Wednesday and is expected to hang around through Friday. Some areas will see windy conditions ranging from 25-45 mph with potential gusts of up 70 mph. In addition, continuing dry conditions and above-average temperatures will serve to increase the danger of fire.