Short Range Forecast Discussion
NWS Weather Prediction Center College Park MD
228 AM EST Sat Jan 18 2014
Valid 12Z Sat Jan 18 2014 - 12Z Mon Jan 20 2014
***Periods of light snow for the Ohio Valley and the Great Lakes***
***Continued dry and warm across the Western United States***
The weather pattern across the continental U.S. into the upcoming weekend will be featured with a strong ridge across the western states and a large scale trough over the eastern half of the country.
A couple of fast-moving Alberta clippers are forecast to drop towards the southeast into the Upper Midwest and into the Ohio Valley region before exiting the East Coast.
It's important to note that these areas of low pressure along with their cold fronts will only have limited moisture to work with since there is no appreciable flow from the Gulf of Mexico.
Having said that, there will be periods of light to occasionally moderate snow with the passage of these clipper-type systems from Minnesota to the Mid-Atlantic region.
Over the West Coast and into the Inter-Mountain West, it's a different
story with a very dry weather pattern expected to continue through the
An unusually strong upper level ridge for this time of year has put its gear in park mode and will be stubborn to move.
Although this is providing pleasant outdoor conditions for January, this is causing the ongoing drought over much of the western U.S. to deteriorate further.
This is also raising the wildfire threat over the southwestern U.S. where relative humidities in many areas have dropped to under 15 percent.
In the temperature department, expect readings to be above normal across the Inter-Mountain West and along the West Coast, and near to below normal across the Midwest to the Northeast.
Much colder weather is expected to arrive by Sunday morning over North Dakota, Minnesota, and the Upper Great Lakes with a strong Arctic front moving southward.
It will be this front that will bring a fresh surge of very cold weather to the East Coast by Tuesday.