Five Weather Changes to Expect the Next Several Days

Linda Lam
Published: October 17, 2019

Fall typically brings rapidly changing weather conditions and the next several days will be no exception.

Shifts in the upper-level weather pattern through mid-October will result in temperature changes and several low-pressure systems impacting areas from the Pacific Northwest into the Midwest, East and South.

Below, we take a look at five weather changes to expect through early next week.

1. Gulf Disturbance Will Bring More Rain to the South

Moisture will return to the northern Gulf Coast by Friday night after two days of drier conditions.

This potential system is a broad area of low pressure over Central America that is entering the Bay of Campeche. The system will slide northeastward in the Gulf of Mexico late this week. Although the Atlantic hurricane season's peak has passed, this is an area that needs to be monitored for tropical development in October.

There is a high chance, according to the National Hurricane Center, that this rainmaker – tagged Invest 96L – could become a tropical or subtropical depression or storm before it arrives on the Gulf Coast on Saturday.

(MORE: Gulf Tropical Depression or Storm May Develop and Soak the Southeast


Potential NHC Development

Regardless of development, this system will enhance rainfall along portions of the Gulf Coast and into the South this weekend. Locally heavy rainfall is possible, but it is too early for details.


Late Week Forecast

2. Thunderstorm Risk Increases by Early Next Week

A low-pressure system will move through the Rockies this weekend and slide into the Plains early next week. This system will organize and possibly strengthen as it moves eastward.

Details are uncertain, but there will likely be ample moisture available, and temperatures will be warmer than average ahead of the cold front.


Forecast for Early Next Week

Showers and thunderstorms will develop, and at least a few strong to severe thunderstorms are likely Sunday into Monday in portions of the central and southern Plains into the Mississippi Valley and Deep South. Locally heavy rainfall could also lead to flash flooding in some areas.

(MAPS: Weekly Planner

3. Fire Weather Concerns Could Return to Southern California

After an initial round of offshore winds Thursday, the upper-level weather setup, with a strong area of high pressure over the Great Basin, appears to be favorable for a Santa Ana event to develop in Southern California Sunday.

(MORE: What Are Santa Ana Winds?

This will lead to warmer temperatures and drier conditions, which will increase the fire risk in Southern California.

This is the time of year when fire danger is generally at its highest due to the dried vegetation and the return of Santa Ana and Diablo winds, just ahead of winter rains that typically reduce the fire threat.

4. Wet Pattern Develops in the Northwest

A series of systems will bring rain and high-elevation snow to the Pacific Northwest into next week.

An atmospheric river will focus plenty of moisture into the Northwest midweek, and the National Weather Service in Portland, Oregon, noted in its Tuesday discussion that some moisture from the remnants of Typhoon Hagibis is expected in the region.

Strong winds will also accompany the wet weather at times, especially toward the coast.


Satellite and Atmospheric Moisture

Colder air is expected with each system, so snow will fall at lower elevations by this weekend.

Widespread rainfall totals of 1 to 5 inches is anticipated through Saturday, with higher totals in the foothills below snow level and coastal ranges.

Snowfall will accumulate to more than a foot in the highest elevations of the Cascades. Some snow may even fall at pass level at times in the Cascades.


Rain and Snow Forecast

This weather change will help with the October rainfall deficit, as Seattle and Portland have received less than one-quarter of their average rainfall for the month so far.

Drier conditions are likely to re-emerge in the Pacific Northwest by the middle of next week.

5. Temperature Changes in the Central, Eastern U.S.

A cold front is slicing across the East with the first truly cool air for some.

Highs will generally be 5 to 10 degrees below average – mainly in the 50s and 60s. Low temperatures will be up to 15 degrees colder than average and will range from the 30s in the Northern Plains and Midwest to the 40s in the East and parts of the South.

But this cooler air won't last.

High pressure will build in behind this system and temperatures will begin to rebound.


Forecast Highs

Above-average highs will begin to return on Friday from western Texas to the upper Mississippi Valley. The warmer temperatures will spread into the Midwest this weekend and into the East and South Sunday and Monday.

(MAPS: 10-Day Forecast

High temperatures will rise by 10 to 20 degrees for many locations, and it will feel mild for mid-October. Lows will only dip into the 50s and 60s for much of the Midwest, South and East by early next week.


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