Easter/Passover Weekend Forecast: Thunderstorms in Parts of the East, With Rain and Snow in the West
By Linda Lam
Apr 14 2017 08:30 AM EDT
A low-pressure system will bring showers and thunderstorms to many areas from the Plains to the East Coast this weekend.
Rain and mountain snow will return to parts of the West on Sunday.
The U.S. will experience typical spring weather, which could result in travel troubles in some spots, as Easter approaches and Passover continues.
A low-pressure system will progress eastward from the Plains on Friday into the East and South by Monday. Showers and thunderstorms will accompany this system on its eastward track, with a few severe thunderstorms possible.
Ahead of the low-pressure system, an upper-level ridge of high pressure will allow temperatures to be warmer than average for areas east of the Rockies. Cooler temperatures will return behind this system, although most areas will remain near to slightly above average.
In the West, an area of low pressure will approach the coast Sunday, spreading rain and higher-elevation snow into the region to end the holiday weekend.
Showers and thunderstorms are expected from the central Plains into portions of the Midwest and Great Lakes region. A few severe storms are possible Friday night, and gusty winds are anticipated for much of the Plains.
Otherwise, mainly dry conditions are expected in the East and South, along with warmer-than-average temperatures. Highs will be in the 80s across the South, with 60s and 70s for much of the Midwest and 50s and 60s from the Great Lakes into the Northeast.
Farther west, a disturbance will bring rain and mountain snow to the Pacific Northwest, with most areas seeing drier conditions by Friday night. Temperatures in the West will generally be near to slightly cooler than average, with the exception of Colorado and New Mexico, which will see highs 10 to 20 degrees above average.
The highest risk for travel delays will be on:
Interstate 5 in Washington and Oregon
Interstate 35 from eastern Kansas into Minnesota
Interstate 90 from western Montana into Washington
Air travel delays are also a concern in Chicago and Minneapolis, as well as in Seattle and Portland, Oregon.
Rain will develop in the Northeast, with thunderstorms in portions of the Great Lakes region stretching southwestward into the central and southern Plains. A few thunderstorms could be severe from the eastern Texas Panhandle into southern Wisconsin. Gusty winds are also likely from the Plains into the Midwest.
A warm day is expected in the East, with highs up to 30 degrees above average in the Great Lakes region. Lows may only drop into the 60s as far north as Chicago, and highs will reach the 70s into Lower Michigan. The Northeast will remain mild with highs topping out in the 60s, with 70s toward the mid-Atlantic.
The West will enjoy a break in the wet weather, as high pressure brings dry conditions to the region. Temperatures will also generally be near average across the region.
The greatest risk for travel delays will be on:
Interstate 35 from Minnesota to Oklahoma
Interstate 90 from New York to Ohio
A few air travel delays are possible in Pittsburgh and Minneapolis.
Showers and thunderstorms will stretch from northern New England back through the Ohio Valley into Texas and the lower Mississippi Valley.
Temperatures will remain warm in the East, with the Northeast experiencing highs up to 30 degrees warmer than average. Highs may climb into the 80s as far north as New York City and southern New England. Easter morning will also start mild with lows in the 60s for much of the East, with a few record warm low temperatures possible. New England will see lows in the 40s and 50s, and the northern Plains into the northern Great Lakes will see 30s and 40s.
The next low-pressure system will begin to move into the West, spreading rain from central and northern California into portions of the Pacific Northwest. Snow will fall in the higher elevations, generally above 6,000 feet in the Sierra. Some gusty winds are possible, as well.
The greatest risk for travel delays will be on:
Interstate 5 from northern California into Oregon
Interstate 70 from western Pennsylvania to eastern Missouri
Air travel delays are possible in Cleveland, Dallas and Sacramento.
The cold front will help to focus showers and thunderstorms across parts of the South on Monday. Temperatures will remain up to 15 degrees warmer than average along the East Coast, making for a pleasant day for the Boston Marathon.
Wet conditions will persist for much of the Pacific Northwest into central California. Showers will also begin to develop in the northern Plains, as the next system pushes east.
Much of the Northwest will see highs in the 50s and 60s, with 30s and 40s in the higher elevations. Temperatures will reach the 70s and 80s from Southern California into parts of the Desert Southwest, with 90s near Phoenix.