What to Watch Fore(cast) – Mar 14-21

Highlights:

Early storms, then warm and tranquil in the East – After a storm system makes its way through the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic today and tomorrow, an upper-level ridge will build over the Southeast that will provide warm and dry conditions for the second half of the week.

Very warm, with record heat? – The second half of the work week will showcase much above normal temperatures in the eastern two-thirds of the country, which will provide multiple days of very warm and possibly record-breaking temperatures.

Stormy, snowy Pacific Northwest – Storm after storm will roll over the Pacific Northwest this week, bringing plenty of rain and mountain snow.

Plains severe risk Sunday/Monday – Potent upper-level energy moving in from the Southwest could trigger widespread severe storms Sunday and Monday (exact timing up for debate) in the Plains and eastern U.S.

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Discussion:

A low pressure system will move from the Southeast to New England over the next couple of days, which won’t cause much of a stir for most as weaker thunderstorms along the cold front and some snow on the northern end does nothing spectacular. Behind this system will be a rapidly building upper-level ridge, which will keep the eastern two-thirds of the region quite warm for most of the week. The Southeast and Mid-Atlantic will be fairly dry while the ridge is overhead and storm systems pass to the north. This ridge could bring record-setting warmth to the central and eastern U.S. as it builds and progresses eastward.

Upstream of the ridge will be an active trough in the West, which will bring a lot of rain and snow into the Pacific Northwest. Some areas could get precipitation every day between now and next Monday (and beyond!). One of these systems is expected to dig into the Southwest and kick out into the Plains early next week, which could bring widespread severe storms to the Plains and areas east Sunday into Monday. Timing these kinds of systems can be rather tricky, so there needs to be some room for adjustment as we get closer to the event. It looks like it could be quite a significant storm if the thermal instability decides to cooperate.


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