Travel & RV Weather Extended Outlook through Sunday 26 March

Extended outlooks are more general in nature and higher level than the daily short term forecasts. Beyond a week, there is often significant uncertainty in the location and intensity of specific weather events. I will note where there is less, or greater, confidence than normal in these extended outlooks.

Click here for animations of the coming week’s weather, updated daily.

Big Picture this coming week and next weekend:

  • This forecast period will be dominated by a storm system that is moving onshore central and southern California on Tuesday.
  • Heavy rain, mountain snows, and strong winds to California, the Great Basin and Four-Corners States into Wednesday.
  • The storm redevelops east of the Colorado Rockies and will likely lead to a severe weather outbreak across the Southern Plains and Deep South, Thursday and Friday, respectively.
  • The storm brings rain to the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic region and Northeast, and strong winds to the Midwest on Saturday before finally exiting on Sunday, leaving snow showers over New England in its wake.
  • In addition to the main storm, another storm will bring snow to the Upper Midwest (Wednesday) and wind and rain to the eastern Great Lakes and Northeast (Thursday).
  • While there are no more big storms for the West this forecast period beyond Tuesday and Wednesday, the weather stays unsettled through Saturday the 25th, with valley rains, mountain snows, and unseasonably cold temperatures.
  • A significant change from the previous extended outlook concerns temperatures. It now looks like much of the East, east of a line from San Antonio to Detroit, will be warmer than normal for much of this period.
    • From Thursday the 16th forecast: “The cold continues, although cold is less certain in the east, with occasional glimpses of above normal temperatures.”
  • The west remains cold. Especially parts of the Great Basin and Northern Plains.
  • It will be very wet – relative to normal – across central and southern California, Nevada and the Four Corners states.
  • Wet also for the Ohio Valley and Midwest.
  • Drier than normal for the Northern Plains, most of Texas, the Southeast and Florida.

Outlook into early April (a 2-4 week outlook is by definition low confidence!):

  • Still wetter than normal for the Pacific Northwest the last week in March.
  • Perhaps easing back to normal or even drier than normal along much of the west coast in early April.
  • The Southeast has the best chance for above normal temperatures in early April, with a chance for the warmth to spread both across the east and into Texas more broadly.
  • The cool conditions seem locked into the west for at least the next few weeks, hopefully allowing for an orderly melting of the snow-pack.

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