Unseasonably cold air will continue to dominate the weather east of the Rockies for the next few days. While there is no thunderstorm activity in the forecast anywhere in the country until Thursday, that is due to change as we head into the upcoming weekend. Beginning late Thursday or Friday, moisture from the Gulf will start to move into the south-central states. A strong low pressure system moving in from Mexico will interact with that moisture to create conditions just right for severe thunderstorms.
From San Antonio, Texas up through Shreveport, Louisiana and into the Mississippi Valley as far north as west Tennessee could see potentially strong thunderstorms this weekend which even includes the threat of tornadoes. Forecasters are predicting a 50/50 chance right now of tornado activity for east Texas, all of Louisiana, southeastern AR and western Tennessee.
By Sunday, the severe weather will push further east to affect places like New Orleans, LA, Birmingham, AL, Atlanta and Florida’s panhandle. Some of the stormy weather heading into the eastern third of the country this weekend will produce areas of rain, ice and snow with some places getting heavy dense fog. With millions of Americans planning to hit the roadways for the upcoming Christmas holiday, travel could be a real problem for anyone heading out early this coming weekend.
On Friday, one storm will drop some rainfall from the Ohio Valley to the central Appalachians and southern New England. Because the ground is cold, heavy fog is likely to form with or without snow on the ground and affect major metro areas including Pittsburgh, New York City and Boston. That same Friday storm could produce some snowfall and a wintery mix further north. This system could affect portions of Michigan all the way to upstate New York and further into the northern reaches of New England. There is no heavy snow being forecast from this storm however, enough will likely come down to cause some hazardous driving conditions on a weekend when many people will be out and about doing some last minute shopping.
Many cities in the country could see very heavy rain this weekend and in fact, enough rain to cause urban flooding. Cities that have a chance of seeing heavy downpours of rain include Cincinnati, Washington DC, Philly, NYC and Boston. There is a chance of ice and snow developing in the northern edges of the rain area to include major airport hubs like Oklahoma City, Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago and Detroit.