Weekend Storm Could Bring More Severe Weather to the South and April Snow to the Plains and Upper Midwest

Jonathan Erdman
Published: April 11, 2019

A weekend storm system may spawn more severe thunderstorms and heavy rain in the South while also squeezing out more April snow in parts of the Plains and upper Midwest in the wake of Winter Storm Wesley.

As Wesley exits into Canada later Friday into early Saturday, a southward plunge of the jet stream will pivot out of northern Mexico and the Desert Southwest into the Plains states.

Ahead of that jet-stream disturbance, low pressure will form in the South Saturday and gain strength as it pushes northward into the Ohio Valley Sunday. This strengthening low will draw warm, humid air north from the Gulf of Mexico.

The ingredients in play for the weekend storm, which may feature severe thunderstorms and at least some snow.

Even though it's mid-April, there should still be sufficiently cold air in place in the Plains and upper Midwest to support snow.

It appears the track of the low-pressure system will be just close enough to wrap moisture into the cold air, but there remains some typical uncertainties on the exact track of that low that will determine who picks up snow.

Here is what we know about this system right now. Check back with us at weather.com for updates to this forecast as the details become clearer.

Outlook

Friday night, rain and thunderstorms should be widespread from the southern Plains to the Tennessee Valley. Snow will fall in the central and southern Rockies. The Front Range of Colorado, including the Denver metro area, may see light snow Friday night.

Saturday, severe thunderstorms are most likely from East Texas into southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana. Damaging winds, hail, tornadoes and locally flooding rainfall are all possible in these areas.

Saturday night, severe thunderstorms may sweep ahead of the cold front into Tennessee, Mississippi, southeast Louisiana and possibly western Alabama. Damaging winds and tornadoes are likely. A couple of significant tornadoes are possible in the dark red area below.

Some wet snow is possible from the High Plains of Colorado and northeast New Mexico Saturday into parts of Iowa by Saturday night. We can't rule out some wet snow as far south as the Texas Panhandle and western Oklahoma.

(MORE: Plains, Midwest Have Seen a Lot of Extreme Weather in 2019)


Saturday's Severe Thunderstorm Forecast

Sunday, severe thunderstorms are possible in parts of Alabama, the Florida Panhandle, Georgia and the western Carolinas. Damaging winds and perhaps a tornado are possible.

Thunderstorms are possible at the Master's Tournament in Augusta, Georgia on Sunday.

Some wet snow is possible in parts of the upper Midwest from northern Missouri to Michigan, continuing in the western Great Lakes Sunday night. The rest of the Northeast should see mainly rain, perhaps thunderstorms, except for some wet snow in northern Maine.


Sunday's Forecast

How Much Snow, Rain?

For now, it appears any snowfall totals from this weekend system will be on the light side.

Nevertheless, there could be an inch or slightly more of wet, slushy snow from the High Plains of Colorado and Texas panhandle to the western Great Lakes.

(MORE: Here's How Often it Snows in April)

In the South, Ohio Valley and East, locally heavy rain may trigger flash flooding in areas that have been recently soaked by rain. However, the frontal system's steady eastward advance should put a cap on the magnitude of the flash flood threat.


Snow and Rain Outlook

Check back with us at weather.com for the latest on this upcoming system.


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