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Short Range Public Discussion
(Caution: Version displayed is not the latest version. - Issued 0753Z Mar 31, 2023)
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Short Range Forecast Discussion NWS Weather Prediction Center College Park MD 353 AM EDT Fri Mar 31 2023 Valid 12Z Fri Mar 31 2023 - 12Z Sun Apr 02 2023 ...Severe thunderstorms likely and flash flooding possible from the Midwest to the Lower Mississippi Valley today... ...Heavy snow and blizzard conditions forecast from the northern Plains to the Upper Great Lakes through early Saturday... ...Critical Fire Weather concerns and high winds across the Southern High Plains over the next several days... ...High winds and severe thunderstorms possible on Saturday across the Appalachians and Interior Northeast... March is not going "out like a lamb" this year as a major storm system is set to spread a plethora of weather hazards across the central and eastern U.S. over the next few days. The deepening low pressure system responsible for much of the anticipated active weather is forecast to push northeast from the central Plains today and enter the Great Lakes region by tonight. A strong cold front attached to this system will clash with warm and humid air surging into the Lower/Mid-Mississippi Valley, sparking numerous thunderstorms from the Midwest to eastern Texas. These storms are then forecast to swing eastward tonight through the Ohio and Tennessee valleys before weakening early Saturday across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Severe weather in the form of damaging wind gusts, large hail, and several tornadoes (some strong) are expected today and tonight between the Midwest and Lower Mississippi Valley. In order to further highlight the concern, the Storm Prediction Center has issued a Moderate Risk (level 4/5) of severe thunderstorms across parts of southeast Iowa, northwest Illinois, and northeast Missouri, as well as a separate area from northeast Arkansas to far western Kentucky. Residents are advised to remain weather-aware and have multiple ways to receive weather alerts. Along with the severe weather threat, storms may also contain intense rainfall rates that could last long enough to produce isolated-to-scattered areas of flash flooding. The greatest risk for flooding resides across the Ohio, Tennessee, and Lower Mississippi valleys through tonight. By Saturday, a trailing secondary cold front could lead to forming thunderstorms capable of containing damaging wind gusts across the northern Appalachians and Interior Northeast. Speaking of winds, high winds are also expected a impact a widespread area of the country as the deep low pressure system creates a tight pressure gradient and large wind field across the central and eastern United States. Damaging winds are possible across much of the Great Plains, Middle/Lower Mississippi Valley, Tennessee and Ohio valleys through tonight. The strong winds combined with low relative humidity will create conditions ripe for extreme fire behavior across the southern and central Plains. Otherwise, wind gusts up to 60 mph could lead to tree damage and power outages across this region. Wind gusts up to 45 mph are expected farther east into the Mississippi and Tennessee valleys. Farther east, a punch of strong winds are also expected to impact the Upper Ohio Valley and central Appalachians on Saturday, where High Wind Watches have been issued due to the threat of 60 mph wind gusts. On the cold side of this system, heavy snow and patches of freezing rain are likely from South Dakota to the U.P. of Michigan through Saturday morning. Heavy snowfall rates and gusty winds as high as 50 mph are expected to create blizzard conditions for parts of South Dakota and southwestern Minnesota, which will lead to snow covered roads and near zero visibility at times. Tree damage and power outages are also possible throughout the Great Lakes as heavy and wet snow combine with high winds to strain vulnerable infrastructure. Additionally, a stripe of light-to-moderate ice accretion from eastern South Dakota to northern Wisconsin could add to the treacherous conditions. The wintry weather threat should greatly diminish on Saturday as the system rapidly slides eastward this weekend. Elsewhere, the next system to impact the West Coast is forecast to spread heavy mountain snow and lower elevation rain to the Pacific Northwest between tonight and the first day of April. Several feet of snow are anticipated throughout the Cascades, making travel very difficult. Periods of heavy snow are also forecast to spread inland across the mountainous terrain of the northern Great Basin and northern Rockies, adding more snow to the already anomalous snowpack throughout the West. Lastly, as the aforementioned Pacific Northwest system ejects into the Plains on Sunday, returning moisture out of the Gulf of Mexico will aid in the potential for scattered thunderstorms across the southern Plains and lower Mississippi Valley. Some of these storms could produce heavy rain capable of producing scattered instances of flash flooding from the Arklatex to central Mississippi. Snell Graphics available at