An active winter pattern this week...
Locally, a weather system will move across the region through early Tuesday. This system will spread light snow into much of central Illinois Monday. The snow is expected to mix with or change to light freezing rain or rain Monday night. Significant snow and/or ice accumulations are not anticipated locally. A much stronger system may impact the region heading into Christmas Eve. There is still quite a bit of uncertainty with the timing and snow amounts of the late week system.
Across the Corn Belt, snow is spreading across the upper Midwest, where depths of 1 to 2 feet remain common and rural travel conditions are once again becoming difficult. Shallow to moderately deep snow still covers much of the remainder of the Midwest, as chilly conditions persist.
On the Plains, cold, snowy weather across northern areas contrasts with warm, breezy conditions farther south. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for Monday in much Montana and the North Dakota, while Monday’s high temperatures will exceed 80 degrees in parts of Texas. A portion of the central and southern Plains’ winter wheat crop remains stressed by drought, wind, and temperature extremes.
In the South, dry weather prevails. Chilly conditions linger in the southern Atlantic States, but warmer air is expanding across the western and central Gulf Coast States. Developing drought remains a concern in the lower Southeast, particularly across Georgia and Florida.
In the West, a Pacific storm train continues to batter parts of southern California with heavy rain and resultant flash flooding, while snow is blanketing peaks from the southern Cascades and the Sierra Nevada to the northern and central Rockies. The wet pattern remains overall favorable for Western water-supply prospects.
For the remainder of the week, a very active weather pattern will prevail in the West. Additional precipitation could exceed 10 inches in the mountains of southern California, which could lead to additional flash flooding and mudslides. Locally heavy precipitation can also be expected elsewhere in the West Coast States and parts of the Southwest.
Farther east, however, dry conditions will prevail on the southern High Plains.
Elsewhere, early- to mid-week snow will spread from the northern Plains and upper Midwest into the Appalachians. Toward week’s end, a developing winter storm will result in widespread precipitation across the nation’s mid-section.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for a continuation of cold weather in the East, while near- to above-normal temperatures will prevail along and west of a line from Texas to Wisconsin. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in California, the Great Basin, and the Northwest.