Potential threat of severe weather, snow, heavy rain across eastern US this weekend


Millions of Americans across the eastern half of the U.S. could be in for a messy weekend as computer models start to come into agreement that a developing storm system could produce heavy snow, severe weather and heavy rain in a matter of days.

The FOX Forecast Center stresses that the system is still several days away, and some changes are likely. It usually isn’t until around 72 hours that the scope of a severe weather outbreak comes into better view.

Computer models show a trough of low pressure diving out of the western U.S. later this week, which will then trigger the development of a surface low over the central Plains on Friday.

Where that surface low develops will be key in determining which type of precipitation falls over an area – whether it be rain or winter weather.

Severe weather threat in the South

The FOX Forecast Center says severe weather is possible in the South from the storm system. The main threat appears to be from gusty winds that’ll happen both in thunderstorm activity and ahead of the advancing storm system.

A few storms may develop Friday night in parts of the Ark-La-Tex region and near the Ozarks as moisture streams into the region from the Gulf of Mexico.

The severe thunderstorm threat on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023.
FOX Weather

By Saturday, the FOX Forecast Center believes enough moisture will be in place along with strong wind shear – the change in wind speed and direction with height – to result in the development of severe thunderstorms capable of producing some tornadoes, damaging wind gusts and hail from areas of East Texas through Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi.

NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center has placed the region in a Level 2 out of 5 on its thunderstorm risk scale.

This includes the cities of Little Rock in Arkansas, Shreveport and Alexandria in Louisiana and Jackson in Mississippi.

Eastern states can expect extreme weather – including the possibility of snow – this weekend. FOX Weather

El Niño weather patterns are known to produce stormy weather across the Southeast, but so far, the last several storm systems have underperformed model guidance.

The last severe weather outbreak to impact the Gulf Coast was on November 20.

Snow expected in Midwest while heavy rain soaks the East

The FOX Forecast Center says showers and thunderstorms will increase in coverage from the Gulf Coast to the Ohio Valley by Friday and continue into Saturday with windy conditions. The system will then continue to head east and reach the Interstate 95 corridor by the end of the weekend.

This means widespread rain is expected from the mid-Atlantic to New England, and winds could be whipping.

The weather forecast in the eastern U.S. on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023. FOX Weather

One of the main computer forecast models used by the FOX Forecast Center was suggesting that peak wind gusts by late Sunday in the New York City tri-state area could exceed 55 mph, with isolated gusts between 60 and 70 mph not completely ruled out. However, given that the storm is still several days away from impacting the region, the predicted gusts could change as we get closer to the weekend.

On the backside of the storm, cold air will produce snow from the central Plains to the Great Lakes.

However, the exact locations and snowfall accumulations remain uncertain and will become clearer as the week continues.

The FOX Forecast Center says wherever the band of snow sets up, there is the potential for up to 3-5 inches of snow through Monday.

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