The Most Active Active Weather of the Winter Season for the U.S. as Three Storms Impact the Nation Between Now and the End of Next Week

A very active weather pattern will grip the nation next week, leading to a variety of nasty and potentially dangerous weather.

Each of these weather-makers will enter the western U.S. and move across the country bringing rain, snow and even a threat of strong to severe thunderstorms with them.  Storm #1 affects the country between today and next Tuesday.  Storm #2 impacts the U.S. from next Monday through next Thursday, and storm #3 move across the U.S. between next Wednesday and the following Monday.  As you can see, there is a lot of overlap in terms of the days that storms will be impacting the U.S., so this will mean that many parts of the country will be affected by high-impact weather at any given time.  A very, very busy period for sure.

Severe thunderstorms will be a concern across areas of extreme southwestern KS, southward across the TX panhandle and western OK, very late Sunday afternoon, but more likely Sunday evening.  These storms then spread rapidly eastward and northeastward to affect southern KS, the remainder of OK and north TX Sunday night and early Monday, then into the MO and MS Valley in a weakened fashion during the day on Monday.  Overall, this does not look to be a major severe weather episode.  As is often the case with these early systems, quality moisture return from the Gulf of Mexico will be lacking.  However, the strength and dynamics of the system should be enough to overcome the lack of deep, quality moisture, and still develop some severe storms.  Damaging winds would be the main threat, with some hail as well.  Even though shear is more than adequate to form supercells, I just do not see a real good chance for deep convection and robust updraft development with any discrete, early storms, so the tornado threat is rather minimal.

The first system will not send a front into the Gulf to keep moisture at bay.  In fact, the pump will be primed so-to-speak by the first weather system, and the second one following close behind it should have an easier time pulling better quality moisture up from deeper in the Gulf and western Caribbean.  Even still, however, this will not be the quality of moisture we will see drawn northward later in spring.  So, the system affecting the central and eastern part of the country will have more Gulf moisture to work with, and this should translate into a greater chance for severe thunderstorms, as well as heavier snowfall in the cold sector of the storm.  Right now it appears the greatest threat for severe storms will be across the eastern Plains, the MO and MS Valley during the day on Wednesday, then the  TN Valley and remainder of the Southeast Wednesday night into early Thursday.  The northward extent of the severe threat is still rather uncertain, but the areas I mentioned have the best chance.  Greater moisture, higher instability values, and strong dynamics will lead to more vigorous thunderstorms.  Shear will again be adequate for supercells and a few tornadoes, however, the quality and depth of moisture return will not be at a level that would lead me to believe we are looking at any kind of outbreak of tornadoes.  This looks to be a fairly widespread threat for storms with damagaing wind and hail, but tornado activity will be isolated.  However, I caution thatit is still early and this forecast could change for the worse if better moisture and instability than forecasted should develop.  So I advise everyone across the eastern Plains, MS/MO Valley, eastward to pay special attention to this system next week.  In addition to the severe thunderstorm threat with this system, it also appears there will be a stripe of wet, heavy snow and wind to the west and north of the track of the surface low in the cold sector.  The ultimate location and track of this low is still very much in question, so at this point I’d say anyone from parts of OK and KS north and northeastward could be impacted by some nasty winter weather.

Finally, the third system in the next Wednesday to the following Monday time frame appears to be more of a winter storm threat for much of the country, as the second system will usher in colder air to a farther south latitude.  However, a threat for strong to severe storms will exist as well, generally along and south of I-20 from Texas into the Southeast U.S.  The Rockies to the Plains and all the way to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast could see quite a snow storm.  The limiting factor for this system in terms of both snowfall and severe weather will be just how much moisture is robbed by the second system, and how much moisture can make it back to feed the third system.  When you ave three successive systems affecting the country in such a short amount of time, available moisture for them to work with is always a major question mark.

This definitely appears to be the most active period so far this winter with a wide swath of the nation impacted by inclement weather conditions.


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