3 big changes this week including Gulf moisture returning, temperature flip-flops and drier Southwest
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.
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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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.
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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By late in the week, sunshine will become more widespread across the Southwest.
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