The Weather Prediction Center

Short Range Forecast Discussion

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Short Range Forecast Discussion
NWS Weather Prediction Center College Park MD
300 PM EST Fri Mar 01 2024

Valid 00Z Sat Mar 02 2024 - 00Z Mon Mar 04 2024

...Winter storm brings heavy mountain snow, widespread damaging
winds, and cold temperatures to much of the West...

...Blizzard conditions expected for the Sierra Nevada and portions
of the Great Basin on Saturday...

...A coastal storm will bring widespread rain up the East Coast
through Saturday, with thunderstorms across portions of the
Southeast through tonight...

...Much above average, Spring-like temperatures for the Plains and
Midwest once again heading into the weekend with Critical Fire
Weather threat for the central/southern High Plains...

Another significant winter storm is forecast to impact much of the
West heading into the weekend, including dangerous, blizzard
conditions for the Sierra Nevada as an amplifying upper-level
trough forces its way into the western U.S.  A multi-day influx of
moisture from the Pacific is forecast to interact with a cold air
mass arriving from western Canada, resulting in heavy snowfall for
many of the higher elevation mountain ranges across the Pacific
Northwest, northern/central California, the northern/central
Rockies, and Great Basin. Snow totals locally as much as 12"+ are
forecast through Sunday. 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 and mountain
passes, leading to the risk of downed trees and power lines as a
potent cold front pushes through. The most intense combination of
snow and wind will converge 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.

By Sunday, a low pressure system is forecast to intensify over the
northern Plains.  It appears that a lack of moisture across the
South will severely limit the precipitation amounts associated
this system despite its strength.  Accumulating snowfall is
forecast only for the far northern Plains where 6 to 10 inches
will be limited to near the U.S.-Canadian border by Sunday evening
as the storm center is predicted to move north into southern
Canada by then.  Rain associated with the cold front will barely
be measurable across the central Plains on Sunday.  Only light and
scattered showers are expected farther north across the Midwest
into the upper Great Lakes later on Sunday ahead of the cold front.

Along the East Coast, widespread rainfall and some embedded
thunderstorms associated with a wavy front are spreading
northeastward from the central Gulf Coast across the Southeast,
southern Appalachians and into the Ohio Valley.  A low pressure
system is forecast to develop along the front and move up the East
Coast on Saturday.  This system is forecast to bring a round of
widespread rainfall up the East Coast through Saturday before the
low center exits the New England coast Sunday morning.  Some
locally heavy downpours are possible, especially north of the
boundary in the interior South and along the Carolina coast. 
Showers and storms will also linger across portions of the coastal
Southeast into north Florida and the Florida Panhandle into Sunday
as the trailing portion of the front becomes nearly stationary.

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 into the upper Midwest on Saturday pushing into the upper
Midwest toward the Great Lakes on Sunday.  Highs will be upwards
of 25-35 degrees above normal, reaching into the 60s and 70s in
these areas.  Highs Saturday will warm into the 60s and 70s for
the Middle/Lower Mississippi Valley, with 80s returning to Texas.
The combination of warm temperatures, persistently dry conditions,
and gusty winds over the central/southern High Plains will elevate
the risk for wildfires through this weekend.  After a chilly day
Friday in the Southeast, temperatures will quickly rebound to
average or slightly above average levels on Saturday, with highs
in the 60s and low 70s.  Conditions will remain near to above
average in the Mid-Atlantic, with 40s and 50s expected.  In
contrast, much of the cold weather will be found across the
western U.S. behind the intensifying low pressure system.


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Last Updated: 300 PM EST Fri Mar 01 2024