Cold Midwest, Such is the case next week as the jet stream takes a sharp plunge south from Canada across the Plains, Midwest, Deep South, then into the eastern states. This jet stream dip will be accompanied by a chilly, expansive area of high pressure at the surface that can be traced back to the Arctic.
We are fairly certain this pattern change will lead to a widespread area of well below-average temperatures, but the possibility of significant snowfall is far less etched in stone. Let’s take a closer look at what we know and don’t know about next week’s potential wintry forecast.
Temperatures as much as 20-30 degrees below average will progress south and east from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast and East Coast between Monday and Wednesday of next week.
Monday (MAPS: Highs | Lows): Temperatures may not rise out of the 20s in the Dakotas, parts of northeast Montana, Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan on Monday afternoon. Lows in the teens are likely in North Dakota, northern Minnesota and northeast Montana.
Tuesday (MAPS: Highs | Lows): Highs remain in the 20s in much of the Upper Midwest. Most cities across the Midwest and Northeast will not rise out of the 30s or 40s. Some single-digit lows are likely in parts of North Dakota and northern Minnesota.
Wednesday (MAPS: Highs | Lows): As illustrated by the map to the right, temperatures will be up to 20 degrees below average across a big area from the Midwest to the East Coast. Lows in the 20s may plunge as far south as the Texas Panhandle, northern Alabama and western North Carolina. Thirties for morning lows will shiver much of the Deep South.
Over the last few days, some computer model forecasts depicted the possibility that a vigorous disturbance will dive from the Midwest into the Southeast, helping to spawn a surface low pressure system near the East Coast.
The disturbance itself could squeeze out areas of light snow over the parts of the Plains, Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and Appalachians late Sunday into Tuesday.
By late Tuesday through Thursday, there remains high uncertainty about whether the potential storm system will develop, where it would develop and where it will track. This will determine whether or not we will see a significant snowfall threat in parts of the Middle Atlantic or Northeast Wednesday into Thursday.
High uncertainty is to be expected in long-range forecasts five to six days in advance. In this case, the weather features for this potential setup are still out in the northeast Pacific Ocean and northwest Canada, several thousand miles away.
“For any model to accurately simulate how those features will evolve is a tremendous challenge right now,” said winter weather expert Tom Niziol of The Weather Channel.