Short Range Forecast Discussion
NWS Weather Prediction Center College Park MD
253 AM EST Fri Mar 01 2024
Valid 12Z Fri Mar 01 2024 - 12Z Sun Mar 03 2024
...Winter storm brings heavy higher elevation mountain snow, widespread
damaging winds, and cold temperatures to much of the West...
...Powerful blizzard in the Sierra Nevada through this weekend...
...Widespread showers and thunderstorms across portions of the Southeast
and Mid-Atlantic Friday...
...Much above average, Spring-like temperatures for the Plains and Midwest
once again heading into the weekend...
A significant winter storm will impact much of the West heading into the
weekend, including dangerous, blizzard conditions for the Sierra Nevada.
An upper-level trough over the northeastern Pacific digging slowly
southward and inland over the West Coast will allow for a multi-day influx
of moisture from the Pacific/Atmospheric River as colder air spreads
southward. This will bring heavy snowfall to many of the higher elevation
mountain ranges across the Pacific Northwest, northern/central California,
the northern/central Rockies, and Great Basin, following a general
southward trend each day Friday and Saturday. Snow totals locally as much
as 12"+ are forecast through Sunday morning. In addition, widespread
damaging wind gusts of 55+ mph are forecast across much of the region,
with even stronger gusts of 75+ mph for higher elevations, leading to the
risk of downed trees and power lines. The most intense combination of snow
and wind will come together over the Sierra Nevada, where a powerful
blizzard is expected. Extreme snowfall totals of 5-12 feet (locally even
higher) are forecast through the weekend, with high snow rates and winds
leading to blowing/drifting snow and whiteout conditions, making travel
impossible. For lower elevations, the system will bring moderate to heavy
rainfall to coastal locations, with a mix of light to moderate rain/snow
for interior locations, though any accumulations should remain limited.
Some light snow may spread into portions of the northern High Plains
Saturday as the system continues east. The weather system will also usher
in cooler, below average temperatures, with highs generally in the 30s and
40s for the Pacific Northwest, northern California, northern Rockies, and
Great Basin, with 50s in central California and 60s into southern
To the East, lift ahead of a shortwave moving eastward from the
Mississippi Valley towards the East Coast as well as Gulf moisture flowing
northward over a quasi-stationary boundary draped along the Gulf Coast
will bring widespread showers and thunderstorms across much of the
Southeast Friday. Some locally heavy downpours are possible, especially in
vicinity of the boundary along the central Gulf Coast and along the
Carolina coast. The boundary is forecast to lift northward along the East
Coast as the upper-level shortwave approaches, spreading rain chances into
the Mid-Atlantic overnight Friday and New England during the day Saturday,
with some locally heavy showers most likely once again for coastal
locations in vicinity of the boundary. Showers and storms will also linger
across portions of the coastal Southeast into north Florida and the
Much above average, Spring-like high temperatures are once again expected
across much of the Plains and Midwest heading into the Weekend. The
greatest anomalies are forecast for the northern Plains Friday and the
central Plains into the Upper Mississippi Valley Saturday where highs will
be upwards of 25-35 degrees above normal, reaching into the 60s and 70s.
Elsewhere, highs will be in the 40s and 50s in the Great Lakes. Highs
Saturday will warm into the 60s and 70s for the Middle/Lower Mississippi
Valley, with 80s returning to Texas. The warm temperatures as well as dry
conditions and some gustier winds along the central/southern High Plains
may bring the risk for wildfires this weekend, with Red Flag Warnings and
Fire Weather Watches issued for portions of the region. After a chilly day
Friday in the Southeast, with highs generally in the 40s and 50s,
temperatures will quickly warm back up to average to slightly above
average levels Saturday, with highs in the 60s and low 70s. Temperatures
will also rebound for much of New England, warming from the 20s and 30s
Friday into the 40s Saturday. Conditions will remain near to above average
in the Mid-Atlantic, with 40s and 50s expected.
Graphics available at