Travel & RV Weather Extended Outlook through Tuesday 28 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 for the end of this week and the beginning of the next:

  • Unlike the previous forecast, there is no single big storm dominating the period. However, there are a number of different weather features that will provide ‘something for everyone’.
  • The west remains very unsettled through Saturday. No single big storm, but the strong flow from the Pacific Ocean will bring heavy snows to the Oregon Cascades. Many places out west will see either some low elevation rain or mountain snows through the end of the week.
  • The storm currently entering California will be pushing north and east of New England by Thursday, bringing heavy rain to the Ohio Valley.
  • The next system forms Thursday night over the Southern Plains, bringing with it a chance for severe thunderstorms – especially large hail – over much of central and northern Texas.
  • The Southern Plains storm intensifies on Friday, leading to a variety of weather:
    • Severe thunderstorms to the lower Mississippi Valley
    • Snow for Iowa and southern Wisconsin
    • Strong winds for western Texas and most of New Mexico
  • On Saturday, the storm continues to strengthen. It moves northeast towards Michigan, and causes strong winds to the Midwest, snow to much of Wisconsin and northern Michigan that then spreads into New England.
  • Sunday will see competing storms attempting to form in both the Southern Plains and over the northern Gulf of Mexico. It’s not clear whether either system will truly dominate the weather for early next week.
    • These systems will bring a chance of severe weather to Louisiana and strong winds to New Mexico.
  • On Monday the unsettled weather spreads east, with heavy rains likely in parts of the Deep South.
  • By late Monday a more defined storm approaches the Oregon and northern California coast. Heavy snow probable over the northern California and the Mt. Shasta area. We’ll need to watch snow levels on the 5 / Siskiyou and Grant’s Passes.
  • On Tuesday the west coast storm brings continued heavy snow to northern California and the Sierra Nevada.
  • Tuesday in the east is marked by a weak front stretching from Corpus Christi to Cape Hatteras, with disturbed weather running along its length. Also some snow possible for coastal New England.
  • I-35 is the dividing line between a cooler than normal West and a warmer than normal East. By Tuesday though everyone will be at or below normal temperatures.
  • Wetter than normal for the lower and mid-Mississippi Valley, the Ohio Valley, Midwest and New England.
  • It will be drier than normal in Washington and Florida, the Northern Plains and most of Texas.
  • If you are looking for – or looking to avoid – snow, you will find new snow this period:
    • West of I-25
    • North of I-80 if you are west of Chicago
    • North of I-90 if you are east of Chicago

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

  • Still wetter than normal for the Pacific Northwest and especially California into early April.
  • Longer term for April, the west coast should dry out.
  • For early April, cooler than normal in the west and north. However, Texas, Florida, the Gulf Coast and parts of the Southeast should be warmer than normal.
  • Eventually, April should be warmer than average in the east and cooler than average in the west.

Details (courtesy of the National Weather Service):

  • Heavy rain across portions of the Lower/Middle Mississippi Valley, the Tennessee Valley, the
    Great Lakes, the Ohio Valley, and the Southern/Central Appalachians, Fri, Mar 24.
  • Heavy rain across portions of the Southeast, the Lower Mississippi Valley, the Southern
    Appalachians, and the Tennessee Valley, Sun-Mon, Mar 26-Mar 27.
  • Heavy rain across portions of California and the Pacific Northwest, Mon-Tue, Mar 27-Mar 28.
  • Heavy snow across portions of the Pacific Northwest and the Northern Great Basin, Fri, Mar 24.
  • Heavy snow across portions of the Northeast and the Great Lakes, Sat, Mar 25.
  • Heavy snow across the Sierra Nevada, Mon, Mar 27.
  • Severe weather across portions of the Southern Plains, the Lower/Middle Mississippi Valley, the
    Tennessee Valley, the Southeast, and the Ohio Valley, Fri, Mar 24.
  • Flooding possible across portions of the Middle Mississippi Valley, the Great Lakes, the Ohio
    Valley, and the Tennessee Valley.
  • Flooding occurring or imminent across portions of the Lower Mississippi Valley.

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