Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend Forecast: Stormy Weather Possible in Central and East, Warm and Dry in the West

Chris Dolce
Published: May 23,2017

The central and eastern states could encounter stormy weather at times this Memorial Day weekend as the western half of the nation enjoys plenty of sunshine.
A southward dip in the jet stream will be the large-scale weather feature dominating locations to the east of the Rockies this weekend, which should prevent any major heat from building. Impulses of energy aloft in that jet stream are also likely to trigger the formation of scattered showers and thunderstorms. At the same time, a northward bulge in the jet stream over the West Coast will keep much of that region warm and precipitation-free.
AAA expects Memorial Day weekend travel to be the heaviest since 2005 with 39.3 million travelers. It also marks the third consecutive year travel has grown for the holiday weekend.
With that in mind, here's what travelers can expect this holiday weekend. Since this is several days into the future, forecast changes are likely in the days ahead, so check back for updates.
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Friday's Forecast

  • Wet Areas: For those getting an early start to the holiday weekend, rain is expected in New England and eastern New York, with a few showers possible in the rest of New York state and into parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Scattered showers and thunderstorms may also impact parts of the Rockies and the Midwest as upper-level energy pivots through.
  • Dry Areas: The nation's southern tier and the West Coast will not be affected by any major areas of rain.
  • High Temperatures: Temperatures across the nation will be within 10 degrees of late-May averages in most cities.

Friday's Forecast
(MORE: National Forecast Temperature Maps)

Saturday's Forecast

  • Wet Areas: An upper-level weather system pushing across the Midwest will likely spark scattered showers and storms from the Front Range to the central Plains, mid-Mississippi Valley, Ohio Valley and the central Appalachians. Depending on the strength of that system, there could be some severe storms to contend with, but details are uncertain.
  • Dry Areas: Much of the East Coast, Gulf Coast and the western states should begin the weekend with no precipitation worries.
  • High Temperatures: Portions of the Pacific Northwest will see temperatures soar 10 to 20 degrees above average. Much of the East will be near or slightly above average.

Saturday's Forecast

Sunday's Forecast

  • Wet Areas: The potential for showers and storms will advance into the Ohio Valley, Appalachians, Northeast and portions of the South. Any wet weather in those regions will depend on the evolution of the weather system mentioned in Saturday's forecast, specifically, how quickly it moves east.
  • Dry Areas: Odds are high that the West and the northern and central Plains should escape any major precipitation worries, although portions of the northern Plains may experience breezy conditions. Much of the Florida Peninsula should also stay dry most of the day.
  • High Temperatures: Afternoon readings are forecast to be much warmer than average in the Northwest by 10 to 20 degrees. The East Coast will also remain a few degrees above average. Temperatures in the central states will generally be near average, except toward the Front Range where it may be 5 to 15 degrees below late-May averages.

Sunday's Forecast

Memorial Day Forecast

  • Wet Areas: The forecast for next Monday once again depends on how quickly the same weather system mentioned above progresses east. Our forecast right now indicates that a cold front will be off the East Coast by Memorial Day, which would indicate dry weather along the Interstate 95 corridor in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. However, showers would linger across interior portions of the Northeast and Great Lakes regions. Scattered thunderstorms could billow up toward the Gulf Coast, as well.
  • Dry Areas: Much of the Plains and West will continue to be the safest bet for dry weather on Memorial Day.
  • High Temperatures: Above-average warmth will expand in the West to include the Great Basin and interior parts of California. Some cities in the Pacific Northwest may see highs up to 20 degrees warmer than average.

Memorial Day Forecast
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