Friday, May 26, 2017

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

Chris Dolce
Published: May 26,2017

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.
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Saturday's Forecast

  • Wet Areas: A low-pressure system pushing across the Midwest will likely spark scattered showers and storms from the Front Range into the central Plains, mid-Mississippi Valley, Ohio Valley and the central Appalachians. Widespread severe storms, including the risk of tornadoes, are expected to fire up from central Texas northeastward into southern Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and southwestern Virginia.
  • Dry Areas: Much of the Gulf Coast and the western states should begin the weekend with no precipitation worries. Parts of the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes will escape rainfall for much of the day, but will see increasing rain chances late day. 
  • 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. The Front Range of the Rockies from Wyoming to Colorado and into Kansas and Nebraska will see temperatures 10 to 20 degrees below average. 

Saturday's Forecast
(MORE: Outbreak of Severe Thunderstorms Possible Saturday in Parts of the Plains, Mississippi Valley and Ohio Valley)

Sunday's Forecast

  • Wet Areas: Showers and storms will advance into the Ohio Valley, Appalachians, interior Northeast and parts 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. A few severe thunderstorms are also possible, mainly from southwestern Ohio southwestward into central Texas.
  • 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 Florida and Georgia should also stay dry most of the day.
  • High Temperatures: Afternoon readings are forecast to be much warmer than average in the Northwest by 15 to 25 degrees. The East Coast will also remain near to slightly above average. Temperatures in the central states will generally be near average, except from eastern Colorado into western Texas where it may be 5 to 10 degrees cooler than late-May averages.

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

Memorial Day Forecast

  • Wet Areas: The forecast for 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 moving through portions of the East on Memorial Day, bringing scattered showers and thunderstorms to the Northeast, portions of the mid-Atlantic and into the South. Another disturbance may bring wet conditions to portions of the Great Lakes and upper Midwest. Scattered showers and storms may also develop in parts of the Rockies.
  • Dry Areas: Much of the northern and central Plains, as well as areas west of the Rockies, will continue to be the safest bet for dry weather on Memorial Day. Breezy conditions are possible once again in the northern Plains.
  • 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 25 degrees warmer than average.

Memorial Day Forecast
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