After quiet and mild conditions dominated the weather picture this week, a lot of snow and a lot of cold is en route for early next week.
We sure hope you gobbled up the mild and generally nice weather on Thanksgiving because it’s not going to last as the calendar flips from November to December.
Why, Why, Why
Before we delve into forecast specifics, let’s break down what’s causing next week’s big weather switch.
It starts with the jet stream, the narrow ribbon of strong winds at the upper levels of the atmosphere that dictate much of our weather. The jet stream looks to become curvier in nature (meteorological term: amplified) next week.
That ‘curvy’ appearance to the jet stream will help pull in much colder air from Canada and Alaska. This means much of the eastern half of the country will get in on the chilliest weather so far this winter season.
Meanwhile, an upper-level low spinning out of the southwestern U.S. will move into the southern Plains next week. That will tap into moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.
Mild weather ahead of the system coupled with very cold air behind it will help strengthen the storm system as it zips eastward.
If you couple the chill from the dip in the jet stream along with the moisture coming in from the south, you’ve got the recipe for a lot of active weather in the days to come.
From Biting Cold to Florida ‘Cold’
No matter what the thermometer says of where you live, it’ll probably feel much colder next week for most of the country. That’ll be the storm system’s most widespread impact.
Further south, Texas and Florida will likely feel their coldest temperatures of the season, with highs struggling into the 50s and 60s across most of those states. Overnight lows plunge into the 30s and 40s.
These temperatures will, generally speaking, run about 10-20 degrees below average across the eastern half of the country. It might feel even colder considering the relative warmth of the last few weeks, including Thanksgiving.
The cold spills southward starting on Sunday.
Snow, and Potentially Lots of It
Ah yes, the four-letter s-word.
Snow is on the horizon, and in the cases of Ohio, Michigan, parts of Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and New York, potentially a fair bit of it.
As the low pressure center spins northeast and continues to strengthen, there’ll be enough cold air behind it that rain will change to snow.
The low will take its sweet time spinning into Canada, meaning Ohio and Michigan could be in the corridor for some fairly healthy snowfall.
Over six inches of snow could be in the cards for parts of the region, including Cleveland, Ohio. A plow-able snowfall looks likely in upstate New York, western Pennsylvania, much of Michigan, and perhaps as far south as Kentucky and West Virginia.
We’ll have more details on snowfall amounts as we get closer, but if you’re in the Great Lakes and the interior Northeast, it might be a good idea to dust off the snow shovel or snowblower this weekend.
Flooding And Severe Weather?
Finally, there’s also the chance that we could see severe weather and heavy rainfall across the I-10 corridor of the Deep South.
Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and perhaps northern Florida could all get in some heavy rain and stronger storms, starting in earnest on Monday.
Heavy rain and a few rumbles of thunder this weekend across southeast Texas could enhance the potential for flooding rainfall there early next week.
This is on the warm side of the storm system, where moisture from the Gulf of Mexico meets up with the cold air pushing in from the north. The front will help to squeeze out heavy rainfall totals, particularly on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.
No matter how you stack it, some active weather is likely heading your way early-to-mid next week.