Severe Weather Forecast for the United States This Week

Bryan Dijkhuizen

Even though the upper-level jet stream pattern is stationary, with troughing in the West and ridging in the South, the pattern seems to be sticking around to finish out the holiday weekend and begin the last week of 2021.

Winter Storms in the Midwest

The most severe weather will continue to be experienced in the West, as a pair of storm systems emerge from the Rockies and later develop into damaging winter storms in the Upper Midwest.

A consistent bombardment of Pacific moisture and abnormally low temperatures within the air column promote high snowfall rates that will coat mountain ranges from the Sierra Nevada to the middle Rockies throughout the West.

Snowfall totals in the former are expected to be the heaviest during the next few days in this region. Despite the fact that the Sierra Nevada has already received significant quantities of snow in recent days, an additional 2 to 5 feet of snow is expected to fall by early Tuesday morning in the region.

Meanwhile, other mountain ranges, such as the Shasta, the Oregon Cascades, the Wasatch, the Tetons, and the Colorado Rockies, may anticipate anything from one to three feet of snowfall this winter.

Winter Storm Warnings have been issued for these ranges, extending as far south as the Transverse Range in Southern California, due to the predicted occurrence of hazardous travel conditions throughout these ranges. Snowfall accumulations that are both measurable and disruptive are also expected throughout the Pacific Northwest, particularly in the urban regions of Portland and Seattle, among other places.

It is only possible for this stretch of wintry weather to occur because of very cold temperatures, some of which may set or break records for chilly high and low temperatures both today and Monday.

High Temperatures in the South

On the other hand, unusually high temperatures continue to be anchored over the southern United States today and will persist until the first part of next week.

According to the National Weather Service, exceptionally scorching temperatures, low humidity levels, and windy conditions have combined to create a Critical Risk of fire weather throughout most of the central High Plains and both the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles Storm Prediction Center.

Heat will be concentrated in the Southern Plains, where temperatures will be 25 to 40 degrees over normal as high temperatures in the 70s and 80's equal to departures of 25 to 40 degrees above normal.

Today's low temperatures are expected to be much above average over the southern United States and into the Mid-Atlantic.

On Monday, a passing cold front will provide some relief to parts of the Mid-Atlantic, but the heart of the highest temperatures departures will be found in the Mid-South and Ohio/Tennessee Valleys.

Extremely Cold Weather in the North

Additionally, it is projected that daily record warm lows and highs will be broken across this area and beyond. There is one exception to the anomalous warmth in the Northern Plains, where freezing Canadian air is pumped behind a powerful cold front, resulting in unusually high temperatures.

Morning lows are expected to be below zero on the High Plains of Montana and North Dakota on Sunday, with midday highs only expected to reach the low single digits.

By Monday morning, temperatures in Big Sky Country are expected to be severely cold, with lows as low as -15 to -25 degrees Fahrenheit possible.

Across other parts of the country, the first in a succession of storm systems to depart the Intermountain West is expected to dump significant snow in the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest Sunday afternoon and into the night.

Early warnings of an oncoming winter storm have been issued for parts of eastern North Dakota, northern Minnesota, and northwest Wisconsin in advance of the storm's arrival.

In the northern Great Lakes region, snow will continue to fall throughout the day on Monday before subsiding in the evening.

It is expected that snow totals will range between 6 and 12 inches through Monday night, with greater totals possible in certain locations, particularly in the Minnesota Arrowhead.

The same storm system may bring light snow and freezing rain accumulations to parts of the northern Mid-Atlantic and interior Northeast on Monday afternoon and evening.

Despite the fact that the totals seem to be low, slippery travel conditions and delays are anticipated in several regions on Monday.

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