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Short Range Public Discussion
(Caution: Version displayed is not the latest version. - Issued 2000Z Mar 01, 2024)
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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. Kong/Putnam Graphics available at