An active Winter pattern ahead for the Heartland
For the remainder of Wednesday, wind-driven snow associated with an intensifying storm system crossing the upper Mississippi Valley will stress livestock and result in difficult conditions for holiday travel.
By Christmas Eve, the storm’s trailing cold front will arrive in the East, triggering heavy rain, locally severe thunderstorms, and possible flash flooding.
The greatest flood threat will occur in the Northeast, where runoff may be enhanced by rapidly melting snow. In the storm’s wake, sharply colder air will cover the Midwest and East for Christmas Day, while snow showers and squalls will linger across the Appalachians and downwind of the Great Lakes.
By the morning of December 26, freezes will reach northern Florida and could extend as far south as the northern part of Florida’s citrus belt.
In contrast, mild weather will quickly return across the High Plains, where Christmas Day high temperatures could reach or exceed 60° from western Kansas southward.
Elsewhere, a storm system should arrive along the northern Pacific Coast on Friday, with precipitation extending inland to the northern Rockies and southward into parts of California.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- or below-normal temperatures and near- or above-normal precipitation across most of the country.
Warmer-than-normal weather will be limited to southern Texas and the Northeast, while drier-than-normal conditions should be confined to the southern tip of Florida and the nation’s northern tier from the northern Rockies into the upper Great Lakes region.