|Deep bitter arctic cold opens the first work week of the new year for the Northern Great Plains and higher elevations of the Rockies (temperature animation). Fortunately those temperatures will move out fairly quickly, affording locations such as Rapid City, South Dakota (forecast) to see temperatures above freezing for the balance of the week! On the other side of the temperature spectrum Miami, Florida will continue to bask in the warm glow of tropical temperatures with highs in the 80s through Wednesday, then cooling a bit with highs only in the mid 70s Thursday and Friday (forecast).
Another opportunity for freezing rain and sleet also opens the first week of the new year, with the mixed precipitation beginning in central Texas today, and moving northeast in the direction of the Nation’s Capital by Wednesday Morning. While accumulations are expected in Texas and Arkansas, the heaviest totals with this system will be in Northern Virginia, West Virginia, and southern Pennsylvania. This morning’s precipitation type forecast product will give you an idea of the progression of the system.
The Pacific Northwest will continue to be pummeled with snow as a strong jet funnels in copious amounts of moisture, while eastward facing slopes will experience additional enhancement with a 45 knot low level jet, increasing upslope snows. Temperatures are such that most snowfall will be above the 3000 foot range initially, but warmer temperatures will accompany the westerly winds allowing the threshold to climb to around 6000 feet or so later today. You may view our precipitation type animation to gain a better feel.
The south will be facing rains today and tomorrow, with the potential for thunderstorms tomorrow as well. At the moment, instability appears to be marginal, but shear is reasonably impressive at least in the vertical. This translates to the likelihood of linear bowing structures with embedded supercells, with accompanying wind threat and perhaps tornadoes since low level shear is present at the forecast level.
As always stay tuned to your favorite weather outlet, stay informed, and stay safe!