Friday, March 17, 2017

Pattern Change Will Bring Return of Rain, Snow to California, Warmer Temperatures in East

Linda Lam
Published: March 17,2017

A pattern change next week will bring a return to conditions that have been more familiar this winter, compared to the weather in early March.
The recent weather pattern has brought warm and dry conditions to the West and cold and wintry conditions to the East. But, thanks to a shift in the jet stream, changes are ahead.
(MORE: 5 Reasons March Weather Is Frustrating)
Wet conditions, along with cooler temperatures, will make another appearance in the West. Meanwhile, temperatures will warm in much of the Plains, South and parts of the Midwest next week. The risk of thunderstorms will also begin to return to portions of the central and southern U.S.
A shift in the jet stream will bring a pattern change to the U.S. next week.
The changes correspond to a shift in the upper-level pattern. The upper-level ridge of high pressure that has been responsible for the mainly dry and warm conditions in the West will slide eastward early next week. This will allow an upper-level trough, or southward dip in the jet stream, to approach the West and bring the storm track farther south toward California.
Below is closer look at what noticeable changes can be expected next week.
(MAPS: Weekly Planner)

Big Changes for the West

Much of the West, with the exception of the Pacific Northwest, has experienced a mainly dry, warm pattern since late February. The stretch of dry weather is expected to come to an end beginning this weekend in parts of northern California.
Wet weather will extend into next week as multiple storm systems move into the West. The good news is that these storms will not be as strong as some of the atmospheric river events that occurred in January and February.

Rain and Snow Forecast
At least some rain should reach as far south as Southern California by Tuesday, but rainfall totals there will generally be less than an inch. The heaviest rainfall totals will likely be found in northern California and western Oregon, where more than 3 inches of rain is expected.
In the higher elevations of the Cascades and Sierra Nevada mountains, snow totals will likely be measured in feet through next weekend. Snow levels are expected to lower below pass level by Wednesday in the Sierra, with snow falling above 4,000 feet midweek.
Gusty winds will also accompany the midweek low-pressure system, adding to the hazardous travel conditions.
(MORE: Where March and April Are the Snowiest Months)
Yet another strong Pacific storm may move into California late next week.
Another change from this past week will be much cooler temperatures, bringing an end to the record-breaking warmth that much of the West has been enjoying.
(MORE: Record Warmth/Cold Dividing the Nation)
Temperatures will be 15 to 25 degrees colder by midweek compared to expected highs late this week and this weekend.

Next Week's Forecast
Highs will be near to slightly below average for the West Coast, Desert Southwest and Great Basin. Low temperatures will also return closer to average midweek.
Phoenix will go from highs in the mid-90s to highs in the mid-70s, and Salt Lake City is expecting a high near 80 on Saturday but will struggle to reach 60 degrees by Wednesday.

Warmer Temperatures and Storms Return to Central, Southern U.S.

The above-average temperatures currently in place over the West will slide eastward this weekend into next week.
On Sunday, highs 10 to 30 degrees warmer than average will stretch from the Desert Southwest into the upper Midwest, with the greatest anomalies in the central Plains.

Forecast Highs
The warmth will push into the Midwest and across the South on Monday, with some warmer temperatures even reaching parts of the Northeast.
Highs will climb into the 50s from Bismarck, North Dakota, into Minneapolis and Chicago early next week, and temperatures may approach the mid 50s in Boston and New York on Tuesday.
By midweek, the above-average conditions will be concentrated mainly in the South, Rockies and High Plains. Lows will also return to near to slightly above average by midweek for the South and Plains.
(MORE: When the Last Freeze of the Season Typically Occurs)
Much of the South will see highs in the 60s and 70s through the week, with 80s toward Texas and Florida. Lows will dip into the 50s for much of the region, with 60s in Texas and toward the Gulf Coast.
Dew points will also increase, making it feel more humid in Texas and portions of the Deep South.
(MAPS: 10-Day Forecast)
The warmer temperatures may help to set the stage for a return of thunderstorms. An area of low pressure will move into the Plains later in the week and is expected to strengthen as it pushes east.

Next Thursday's Forecast
By Thursday, moisture and instability may increase, adding to the likelihood of thunderstorm development, with a few severe thunderstorms possible.
This threat for strong, possibly severe thunderstorms may be more expansive in the Mississippi Valley next Friday.
However, given this is about a week away, details are uncertain and will change over time.
(MORE: Tornadoes In March)
Be sure to check back to for forecast updates.

Winter Hangs On in the Northeast, Great Lakes

While there will be a brief relenting, yet another cold plunge will frustrate those in the Northeast and Great Lakes next week.

Next Week's Forecast
Highs will be 10 to 20 degrees colder than average, while lows will be up to 25 degrees below average from the Northeast into the Great Lakes behind the mid-week cold front.
The interior Northeast and parts of New England won't see temperatures rise above the freezing mark, and lows will plunge into the single digits and teens later next week.
(MORE: Winter Storm Stella Recap)
Breezy conditions are also likely midweek, which will make it feel even colder.
These chilly temperatures will also allow the chance for some wintry precipitation at times over the next week.
(MAPS: 7-Day Rain/Snow Forecast)

MORE: Winter Storm Stella, March 2017 (PHOTOS)

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