A more active pattern to evolve across the Heartland
A storm system currently crossing the northern Rockies will reach the upper Mississippi Valley on Wednesday morning before turning northeastward. Starting late Tuesday and continuing through Wednesday, wind-driven snow may result in blizzard conditions in parts of the north-central U.S., particularly in the Red River Valley and environs. High winds will also rake the northern and central High Plains.
On Christmas Eve, a secondary low-pressure system forming along the storm system’s trailing cold front will enhance rainfall in the eastern U.S. In parts of the Northeast, heavy rain may combine with melting snow to induce local flooding. Storm-total rainfall could reach 1 to 2 inches or more from the Appalachians into the Northeast.
Sharply colder air will trail the precipitation, with rain changing to snow squalls on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the Appalachians and downwind of the Great Lakes. High temperatures on December 25 will not reach 20° in portions of the Great Lakes region—but could exceed 60° on the central and southern High Plains.
Elsewhere, a storm system will arrive along the northern Pacific Coast on Friday, with precipitation later spreading inland across the Northwest. However, dry weather will prevail during the next 5 days from southern California to the southern Plains.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10- day outlook calls for the likelihood of near- or above-normal temperatures and precipitation across large sections of the country.
Colder-than-normal conditions will be confined to the southern Atlantic States and parts of the West, while drier-than-normal weather should be limited to southern Florida, northern Minnesota, and the northernmost Rockies.