3 big changes this week including Gulf moisture returning, temperature flip-flops and drier Southwest

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Looking Ahead: 3 Big Changes

By LINDA LAM, Weather.com

Three big changes in the weather are expected heading into the new week across the U.S., and many will appreciate the difference a week can make.

Moisture from the Gulf of Mexico is expected to bring rain to parts of the South, while the Southwest will finally see drier conditions.

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Temperatures will also flip-flop. The West will experience temperatures closer to average for this time of year and the Northeast and Midwest will feel a warming trend, following the recent cold shot.


Watching the Gulf of Mexico

A pattern shift is expected by midweek with moisture returning to the Gulf Coast.

There is also the chance that a low pressure system, perhaps with tropical characteristics, may develop in the Gulf of Mexico in the week ahead.

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3 big changes this week including Gulf moisture returning, temperature flip-flops and drier Southwest
Click through to see more images of weird weather around the U.S.
Cal Fire engineer Clint Singleton looks out at a plume of smoke near Clearlake, Calif., Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015. Thousands of firefighters battling an unruly Northern California wildfire were aided overnight by cooler temperatures and higher humidity, but the fire is still less than a quarter contained. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Corn damaged by heavy rains stands in a field in Sheridan, Ind., Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says farmers in 88 of Indiana's 92 counties are eligible for low-interest emergency loans because of heavy rains and flooding that have occurred since May 1. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
In a view from Whittier, Calif., the sun sets behind a hazy downtown Los Angeles after a week of high temperatures from the view Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
A child plays in the sprinklers of Seward park, Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, in New York. Temperatures are expected to reach into the 90s in the New York metro area. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Beach goers crowd at Venice Beach, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015. The Western heat wave began Thursday and was expected to continue through Sunday. Authorities warned people not to leave small children or pets in cars, where temperatures can quickly soar. Los Angeles and other cities were keeping libraries and other facilities open late to serve as cooling shelters for those without air conditioning.(AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Storm clouds build over the left field stands in Coors Field during the fifth inning of an inter league baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and the Colorado Rockies Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Debris rests on the ground after a garage was damaged by fallen tree during a severe thunderstorm in Traverse City, Mich., Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015. Authorities said gusts as high as 65 mph left thousands without power, damaged houses and left some roads impassable. (AP Photo/John Flesher)
A vehicle drives through a puddle after heavy rainfall, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, in Albany, N.Y. Scattered rain and thunderstorms are expected in the region through Wednesday. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Firefighters walk under smoke from fires along Morgan Valley Road near Lower Lake, Calif., Friday, July 31, 2015. A series of wildfires were intensified by dry vegetation, triple-digit temperatures and gusting winds. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
LAKE MEAD NATIONAL RECREATION AREA, NV - AUGUST 03: The ruins of the Hannig Ice Cream Parlor are shown in the ghost town of St. Thomas on August 3, 2015 in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada. The town was founded in 1865 by Mormon pioneers at the site where the Muddy River flowed into the Colorado River and at one point had about 500 settlers. The town was abandoned in 1938 after the construction of the Hoover Dam caused the Colorado River to rise. The area was once submerged in 60 feet of water but became entirely exposed to the air as a severe drought in the Western United States over the last 15 years has caused Lake Mead to drop to historic low levels. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 30: A severe thunderstorm passes over the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, July 30, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Clouds accompany hot, muggy weather over downtown Los Angeles and the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Thursday, July 30, 2015. July is wrapping up in California with more of the unusual weather that has marked the normally very dry month. Flash-flood watches are posted across the interior mountains and deserts of southern and eastern California as monsoonal moisture brings thunderstorms.(AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Motorists drive through heavy rain along Ninth Avenue, Thursday, July 30, 2015 in New York. More showers are predicted through the night, but skies are expected to clear by Friday morning. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Two youths play in the Swann Memorial Fountain Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Philadelphia. According to the National Weather Service temperatures are expected to reach 90-degrees. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Young people cross a street during a rainstorm Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Philadelphia. According to the National Weather Service temperatures are expected to reach 90-degrees. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Walter Swinehart cools off in the Swann Memorial Fountain, Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Philadelphia. According to the National Weather Service temperatures are expected to reach 90-degrees. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
A man cools off in the water sprinklers at Sara Delano Roosevelt Park, Wednesday, July 29, 2015, in New York. The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for New York City through 8 p.m. Thursday. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Clouds hang over City Hall Tuesday evening, July 28, 2015, in Commerce City, Colo. Forecasters predict continued warm weather for Colorado's Front Range communities in the week ahead. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Storm clouds build over the Rocky Mountains in Colorado as the sun sets late Friday, July 24, 2015. Forecasters predict that the cool, stormy weather of Friday will move out for daytime highs hovering in the 90s for the weekend ahead. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
In this Tuesday, July 21, 2015, photo, Wendover Mayor Mike Crawford stands along the exposed mud track on the Bonneville Salt Flats, in Utah. Crawford, who owns an auto parts shop in town, said the decision by race organizers to cancel this year’s event weeks away will be a bigger economic blow than last year, when a monsoon storm left standing water on the track on the eve of the race. Wet weather has forced the second-straight cancellation of an annual race at Utah’s world-famous Bonneville Salt Flats. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
A teenager checks his cell phone as storm clouds pass Friday, July 17, 2015, in Zionsville, Ind. Scattered storms were in the forecast for most of Friday evening. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Storm clouds hang over Great American Ball Park before the MLB All-Star baseball game, Tuesday, July 14, 2015, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Smoke drifting south from wildfires burning in Canada clouds the skyline Tuesday, July 7, 2015, in Denver. A smoke advisory was issued for the northeastern part of Colorado, Monday and expanded to all counties east of the Continental Divide Tuesday. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Vehicles struggle to navigate through the intersection of Eighth Avenue and Grant Street south of downtown Denver as a severe thunderstorm swept over the metropolitan area late Thursday, June 25, 2015. Forecasters have issued a severe thunderstorm warning for communities south and east of Denver for Thursday night. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 17: People enjoy a hot afternoon at the Astoria Pool in the borough of Queens on August 17, 2015 in New York City. The main pool, the biggest in New York City and administered by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, sees over 3,000 people on a typical summer weekday. New York city is in the middle of a heat wave, with temperatures in the high nineties and with a heat factor making it feel over 100 degrees. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(MORE: Gulf Tropical Development Ahead?)

Even without tropical cyclone development, rain and thunderstorms are expected to develop across much of Texas by mid or late week.

Wet conditions will persist through the end of the week and into the weekend, and it may be windy at times. Rain may also spread east into Louisiana, as well as parts of lower Mississippi Valley.

The rain will be welcome in many areas, as drought conditions have developed over the summer in much of Texas as well as Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.

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(MORE: Exceptional Drought in Texas Again After Record Spring Floods)

Wildfires have also developed due to the persistent hot and dry conditions in portions of the Plains. The rainfall late this week could bring some improvement in regards to fire danger.

A few examples of the recent dryness:

  • Houston is more than 4 inches below average in terms of rainfall since Sept. 1, as just over 2.5 inches has fallen.
  • San Antonio has received just under half of their average expected rainfall since Sept. 1.
  • Dallas has only measured a trace of rainfall so far in October.

Despite the drought relief, the rain could be locally heavy, resulting in flash flooding.

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3 big changes this week including Gulf moisture returning, temperature flip-flops and drier Southwest

Temperature Flip-Flops

A break from the record heat is ahead for much of the West and southern Plains. In addition, after a shot of cold air this weekend and into Monday in parts of the East, warmer temperatures will return.

The coldest air of the season so far has made its way across the Midwest and into parts of the East this weekend.

Many areas have seen their first frost and freeze with lows dropping into the 30s as far south as North Carolina. Lows tumbled into the 20s in parts of northern Minnesota and Michigan on Saturday. Parts of the Ohio Valley and northern New England saw lows in the 20s Sunday morning.


(MORE: Coldest Air of the Season)

Some areas from the northern Great Lakes into the interior Northeast have also seen their first snow of the season this weekend.

(PHOTOS: First Snow of the Season)

The chilly conditions will just be a distant memory by mid-to-late week across the East as highs and lows will rebound quickly to near and even above average.

(FORECAST: Indianapolis | Philadelphia | Atlanta)

High pressure will slide eastward this week and as it does, a more southerly flow will develop, allowing warmer temperatures to return. High temperatures will climb back into the 70s by Tuesday or Wednesday in the Ohio Valley, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.

Meanwhile, much of the West and southern Plains saw record high temperatures this past week courtesy of a ridge of high pressure.

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(MORE: Record Heat in October in the West and Southern Plains)

A few cities saw their hottest temperature ever recorded in October including Little Rock, Arkansas, which reached 98 degrees on Oct. 15, and Colorado Springs, which tied its October record of 87 degrees on Oct. 11.

An all-time record high temperature for any month of the year was set in Camarillo, California, on Oct. 9 when the mercury climbed to 108 degrees.

Las Vegas crushed its record for number of days with a low in the 70s for October, with nine of them through Oct. 15.

The average temperature for Los Angeles month-to-date in October is more than 7 degrees above average and San Diego is more than 8 degrees above average.

Two areas of low pressure will move through the West through Wednesday, allowing temperatures to take a dip in most areas, so the record-breaking trend has come to an end.

(FORECAST: Medford, Oregon | Reno, Nevada | Salt Lake City)

After the storm systems move east temperatures will warm but are expected to remain closer to average for much of the week ahead compared with this past week.

Drier in the Southwest

After flash flooding in portions of the Southwest this past week and this weekend a change is on the horizon. Some of the worst flooding was seen in California, where mudslides stranded motorists.

(MORE: Southwest Rain Forecast and Flood Threat)

The upper-atmospheric low that has plagued the region for two weeks will finally push eastward this weekend. Another low pressure system will bring another round of rain to the West early this week.

As the second system pushes east into the Plains, high pressure will bring a break from the rain by midweek to most of the Southwest. Portions of Arizona and New Mexico may not see the dry conditions until the end of the week.

(FORECAST: San Diego | Death Valley | Las Vegas | Flagstaff)

By late in the week, sunshine will become more widespread across the Southwest.

RELATED: Need a break? Check out these warm weather destinations:

Warm weather destinations
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3 big changes this week including Gulf moisture returning, temperature flip-flops and drier Southwest


Photo: Getty

Puerto Rico

Photo: Getty


Photo: Getty

Turks and Caicos

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Photo: Getty


Photo: Getty


Photo: Getty


Photo: Getty

The Dominican Republic

Photo: Getty


Photo: Getty


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