Snow, Cold Air Could Remain Parked in West the Rest of May

Linda Lam
Published: May 20, 2019

It may be mid-May, but persistent chilly temperatures and snow have returned to parts of the West and will remain locked in place through the week ahead.

The culprit is an upper-level trough, or southward dip in the jet stream, that is currently in place over the West. The strong jet stream is also fueling severe thunderstorms across the southern and central Plains.

As a result, colder-than-average temperatures have descended into portions of the West and High Plains and may remain locked in place through much of the week ahead.

A southward dip in the jet stream has developed over the West and will bring colder-than-average temperatures from the West Coast to the Great Lakes in the week ahead.

Chilly Forecast

Chilly conditions for late May will prevail in the week ahead, with temperatures up to 30 degrees below average at times from the Southwest to the northern Plains.

(MAPS: 10-Day Forecast

Highs in Denver will hold in the 40s Monday and Tuesday. Temperatures in Salt Lake City will remain chilly as well, with highs only in the 50s. The average high temperature in both cities this time of year is in the lower 70s.

Forecast Highs

Low temperatures will also be below average, with temperatures dipping into the 20s and 30s for the higher elevations, as well as across the northern tier. Elsewhere across the West, lows will be in the 40s and 50s.

More Snow Ahead

Disturbances in the southward plunge of jet stream mentioned earlier will continue to wring out more snow early this week from the Sierra Nevada into the Rockies and the adjacent northern High Plains.

Snow even fell Sunday morning as far east as the upper Midwest, including parts of northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin.

Winter storm warnings are in effect from the Rockies of Colorado to the mountains of southern Wyoming and South Dakota's Black Hills for Monday into Tuesday. A foot or more of snow could pile up in the highest elevations.

(MAPS: Weekly Planner

Rain and Snow Forecast

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center indicates below-average temperatures and above-average precipitation will continue through much of the month in the West.

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