- A more powerful storm system is expected to develop later this week.
- This storm could wring out snow in parts of the south due to a more powerful plunge of cold air.
- Strong winds are also possible overnight from the east from Friday to Saturday.
- Rain will soak the southeast and severe storms are possible later in the week.
A strong spring storm later this week will spread snow from the Rockies and Plains as far south as Oklahoma to New England. Not only that, but it could also bring torrential rains and severe thunderstorms to parts of the southeast.
A typical March winter storm delivered snow to parts of the upper Midwest, but on the warmer side, a series of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes in Iowa and Arkansas over the weekend.
Our forecast now suggests that another classic spring pattern could have both wintery and severe impacts later this week.
First, a powerful blast of cold air will sweep across southern Canada into the Plains and Rocky Mountains this week. This cold spell could set several daily cold records in parts of the West and the Plains.
(PLANS: US 10-Day Forecast Highs and Lows)
A pair of powerful jet streams are then expected to push low pressure up along a cold front in the lower Mississippi Valley on Friday, then intensify as it rushes into northeast or eastern Canada. by Saturday.
Before this weekend storm kicks into high gear, a patch of snow will cover the Rockies and parts of the Plains through Thursday. Winter weather alerts have been issued by the National Weather Service for many of these areas.
A fairly wide area of the Rockies in Nebraska and Iowa could pick up at least 6 inches of snow through Thursday. Expect most of that snow to fall in metro Denver eastward on the plains Wednesday through Thursday, resulting in slippery roads and reduced visibility.
Snow could start spreading south in parts of Oklahoma and possibly far northwest Texas as early as Thursday evening.
By Friday, snow could fall as far south as the Ozarks, extending northeast into the Great Lakes. Expect at least one slippery ride on Friday morning, if not also Friday afternoon, in these areas.
On the warm side, heavy rain and strong to severe thunderstorms are possible from the Gulf Coast to the Southeast Coast. Much of this threat could be Friday night and early Saturday, particularly from southern Alabama, northern Florida, and southern and central Georgia into central and southern coastal South Carolina and eastern North Carolina.
As colder air is sucked into the strengthening storm Friday evening through early Saturday, rain may turn to snow in parts of the Ohio Valley and Tennessee Valley as far south as northern Mississippi, northern Alabama and northern Georgia.
This could lead to slippery roads even without significant snow accumulations in parts of the Tennessee Valley. Colder air crashing behind the storm could cause icy patches and stretches on roads as temperatures dip below freezing on Saturday morning.
Strong winds ahead of the cold front could develop across much of the East Friday evening, from northern Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas to parts of New England.
And on the warm side of the system, strong to severe thunderstorms could rumble ahead of the cold front early Saturday in the coastal southeast.
It will be windy on Saturday over much of the east, but particularly ahead of the cold front from the eastern Carolinas to the mid-Atlantic coast to New England. Some gusts of wind can be strong enough to knock down trees and knock out power.
Persistent snow is possible Saturday in Appalachia, western, central and northern New York, northern New England and parts of the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley.
The storm is expected to move out of the United States and into Canada by Sunday, but cold air crashing behind the front could produce patches and icy patches on roads in the northeast through Sunday morning.
On the warm side of the storm, a few strong to severe thunderstorms may persist from parts of Florida east to the Carolinas.
How much snow, rain?
So far, snowfall totals from this weekend storm appear to be quite modest, generally totaling less than 6 inches in most locations, with the possible exception of the southern Rockies and northern of New York State and northern New England.
However, these snowpacks could still make travel slippery, especially in the hilly terrain of the south, from Oklahoma to the Ozarks and Tennessee valleys.
Rainfall from the weekend storm, in addition to multiple showers and T-storms earlier in the week, could total more than 3 inches from the Florida Panhandle in southern Georgia and southern South Carolina, as well than in parts of the southern Appalachians.
This could lead to local flash flooding, especially on higher ground and where rain bands and storms stop for a few hours.
Check back with us at weather.com for important forecast updates throughout the week.
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