Cold to moderate; a drier pattern for the Heartland


Cold to moderate; a drier pattern for the Heartland

An expansive cold outbreak will persist nearly nationwide, with warmer-than-normal weather mostly limited to the Southeast and Far West. Late in the week, however, cool air will arrive across the Southeast, while warmth will expand eastward across the western U.S.

Meanwhile, a slow-moving storm system will cross the southwestern and south-central U.S.

The storm will generate significant, early-season snow across southern sections of the Rockies and High Plains, as well as 2 to 5 inches of rain across the southeastern Plains, aiding winter wheat and easing wildfire concerns.

During the mid- to late-week period, the interaction between the storm system and Tropical Storm Zeta could lead to additional heavy rain across the South. Zeta should reach the central Gulf Coast region of the U.S. as a hurricane or strong tropical storm late Wednesday or early Thursday.

Elsewhere, mostly dry weather will prevail during the next 5 days from the Pacific Coast to the northern Plains and upper Midwest. The wildfire threat in California will only gradually diminish as winds slowly subside.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of near- or below-normal temperatures in much of the South, East, and lower Midwest, while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail across Florida’s peninsula, the northern Plains, and the West.

Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation across most of the country should contrast with wetter-than-normal weather across Florida’s peninsula and the Pacific Northwest.