Shaun Tanner has been a meteorologist at Weather Underground since 2004.
By: Shaun Tanner , 6:18 AM GMT on March 19, 2012
As always, Weather Underground will be monitoring the progress of the storm that will be discussed in detail below. To get the most updated information on the storm, please follow @wunderground on twitter or "like" our Facebook page.
All corners of the United States will see interesting weather on Monday as an intensely strong storm moves into the Plains. If you have read my blogs before, you know I always start off looking at Weather Underground's Severe Weather Map.
Weather Underground's Severe Weather Map
The more colorful the map, the more active the weather the country will experience. So, I wanted to take each region of the country and explain what can be expected for Monday and beyond.
Southern and Central Plains
The region of the country from eastern Texas through Missouri and Kansas will likely be the hardest hit area of the country, so I will start here.
A tremendous amount of moisture will stream northward from the Gulf of Mexico into the area. When you couple this moisture with the beginning of severe season, this may turn out to be bad news. The Storm Prediction Center has issued a modate risk of severe weather in eastern Texas, and a slight chance for severe weather in surrounding areas.
This area could see typical weather associated with severe weather, including severe thunderstorms, extremely heavy rain, and tornadoes. Residents in this area should monitor local weather conditions and be prepared to take any precautions necessary to protect life and property.
This is also the same area that is under Flash Flood Watches and other Flood Watches in anticipation of a lot of rain over the next few days. The image below shows the forecast rainfall amounts for much of Monday. Note the bull's eye of heavy rain in northeast Texas and east Oklahoma. This forecast is calling for over 2.5 inches in Oklahoma, while the flood watches note that locally some areas could receive up to 6 inches of rain through Tuesday. That amount of rain falling in the area will most likely experience flooding, so please be aware of any flooded roadways and streams.
The crazy part is that this precipitation is just the beginning. Take a look a the following image, showing the 5-day precipitation for the country.
You are reading that correctly. The forecast is calling for over 10 inches of rain in a 5-day period through this week in parts of east Texas through Arkansas and southern Missouri. In addition, 8 inches is possible in Louisiana.
This area includes Montana and Idaho. The center of the main storm will move out of eastern Montana and into Canada. Winter Storm Warnings are posted for much of Montana in anticipation of up to 2 feet of new snow in the mountainous areas, and up to 8 inches in the lower elevations. In addition, gusty winds up to 25 mph will blow around this newly-fallen snow, creating blizzard conditions in the state and surrounding areas.
With all of this stormy weather, you would think the warm weather in the East would be a distant memory. Not so. A warm pocket of air will move through the Dakotas and Minnesota, keeping maximum temperatures well above normal. Minneapolis will see afternoon temperatures in the mid-70s, which is 30 degrees above normal. Let me state that again. Minneapolis will see temperatures 30 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL! Likewise, Fargo, ND will also be warm. There is even the possibility that the city could experience maximum temperatures in the low 80s. That could be 40 degrees above normal. Needless to say, daily record temperatures will likely be set throughout the region.
Forecast Maximum temperatures for Monday.
Southeast and Northeast
Warm temperatures will also continue in the Southeast with widespread 70s and 80s likely. While these temperatures are not completely from left field (afternoon temperatures will be "only" 10-15 degrees above normal), the Northeast will once again experience late Spring-like weather. Normal afternoon temperatures this time of year are in the lower 50s in New York, yet the city will experience in the lower 70s. Boston will only be in the mid-60s, which is still over 10 degrees above normal.
All-in-all, it will be a very, very busy week for the country, so please prepare yourself before it is too late.
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