Weather across America

Published: 03/20/2023, 1:42 AM

(NATIONAL) Record-breaking cold across the Southeast, a strong storm system to impact southern California, and heavy snow to impact parts of the Intermountain West and Rockies before spreading into the northern Plains and Upper Midwest. 

A dominant high pressure system spanning from the south-central U.S. to the East Coast has ushered in a very chilly airmass from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast, which is likely to lead to widespread freezing temperature across the Southeast on Monday morning. Low temperatures are forecast to dip into the low 30s and 20s across the Gulf Coast and Southeast. These temperatures equate to around 20 to 30 degrees below average compared to climatology for the date and could even break several daily low temperature records. 

Freeze Warnings have been issued and spread from eastern Texas to the Carolinas, including much of the Tennessee Valley and Deep South. Temperatures below the freezing mark could kill sensitive vegetation, as well as damage unprotected outdoor plumbing. 

As the high pressure system gradually slides eastward on Tuesday, slightly warmer temperatures will surge northward throughout the southern Plains and Lower Mississippi Valley, but one more cold morning can be expected across the Southeast.

The next potent storm system to impact California is set to spread hazardous weather inland on Tuesday, with much of the unsettled conditions confined to the southern half of the Golden State. High Winds from the central California coast to Southern California could lead to tree damage and power outages as gusts reach up to 80 mph. 

Heavy rain is also forecast to swing inland on Tuesday and could lead to scattered instances of flooding and rapid runoff, mainly for southern California, but also potentially spreading up the central coastline and San Joaquin Valley.

Into Tuesday night, an axis of locally heavy rain is also possible over central Arizona. Soils remain overly saturated for these regions and could exacerbate any flood threat. For the central/southern Sierra Nevada and Southern California mountain ranges, another round of heavy snow is on the way and could add up to several feet for some the highest terrain.

Heavy snow is also likely to create the potential for hazardous travel over the next few days across the Intermountain West and Rockies as a persistent flow of Pacific moisture continues into the region. An initial weak wave of atmospheric moisture moving through the Great Basin Sunday night is likely to spread moderate snowfall into the Utah and western Colorado mountains. Snowfall amounts could add up to over a foot for these regions.

As this system ejects into Great Plains on Tuesday, an area of light-to-moderate snow is likely to develop across the northern Plains and Upper Midwest. Generally 3 to 6 inches of snow is anticipated from the Dakotas to northern Minnesota as the developing low pressure system pushes northeastward across the region. As the next low pressure system impacting California on Tuesday pushes into the Great Basin on Tuesday night, additional rounds of heavy snow are likely into the central Rockies and Intermountain West.


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