By the National Weather Service, Special for USDR.
***Areas of snow from the Great Lakes to New England***
***Historic cold for the eastern U.S. late this week***
***Remaining mild and dry for the western United States***
The overall weather pattern through the end of the week will continue to be featured with a pronounced upper level trough over the eastern half of the country, and a big upper level ridge for the western states. This will keep the West Coast, the Intermountain West, and the Desert Southwest warmer and drier than normal, and the central and eastern parts of the U.S. much colder than normal. Although the weather is pleasant out west, the drought continues for California and much of the Intermountain West, and no appreciable rain is in the forecast over the next couple of days. There may be a few showers over western Washington state, but that is about it.
Over the eastern half of the nation, we all know that it has been quite cold over the past week. Get ready for an even more impressive surge of arctic air later this week as another cold front drops south from Canada. There are indications that this could be some of the coldest weather since the mid-1990s for parts of the Southeast U.S., Mid-Atlantic, and central Appalachians. An eddy of the polar vortex will add to the potency of the surface cold front, thus creating a deep layer of bitterly cold air. Highs on Thursday and Friday will struggle to get out of the teens for many of these areas, and overnight lows could reach zero degrees or even lower in some areas! After Friday, temperatures are forecast to moderate and become more tolerable.
In the precipitation department, no major areas of rain or snow are expected over the next 48 hours. There will be periods of light snow and snow showers from the Ohio Valley to the Mid-Atlantic and New England as shortwave energy with the arctic front moves across the region. Some lake effect snow showers will be possible as well. Lingering showers and a few thunderstorms will be possible for the Florida peninsula before the cold front clears the state by later Wednesday.