Southern Soaker May Wring Out Some 'First Snow of the Season' in Parts of the Northeast Late This Week

Jonathan Erdman
Published: November 5, 2019

A storm system will bring soaking rain to parts of the South and will also bring snow – the first of the season – to parts of the interior Northeast later this week.

The origin of this system is an upper-level low spinning over and just offshore of Southern California. It's not producing much precipitation, with the exception of some weird early morning thunderstorms over the Mojave Desert north of Los Angeles on Sunday.

At any rate, this feature should gradually pivot into the Southwest over the next day or so. As that happens, increasing moisture will be drawn northward into an arriving cold front in the Plains. The lift from both the frontal boundary and the upper-level low will wring out rain and some thunderstorms in the Plains beginning Wednesday.

Speaking of that front, a reinforcing blast of cold air will sweep into the Plains, Midwest and Northeast later this week.

(MORE: Three More Rounds of Cold Air to Leave Central, Eastern U.S. Shivering

Some of that Southern moisture will end up being drawn up and over the front into the colder air, which would generate snow in parts of the Great Lakes and Northeast. That part of the forecast remains uncertain at this time.

The overall setup for rain in the South, and the potential for some light snow in the Northeast late this week.

So, let's lay out what we know and what we're still uncertain about.

South Soaking

Rain and thunderstorms should pick up in the Southern Plains and parts of the Desert Southwest by Wednesday.

Wednesday night and Thursday, that rain should become more widespread from Oklahoma and Texas to the lower Mississippi Valley and southern Appalachians.

(MAPS: Daily U.S. Rain/Snow Forecast


Thursday's Forecast

The heaviest rain totals are expected from north Texas and Oklahoma into southern Missouri and northern Arkansas, where some areas may see up to 2 inches of rain. These modest rain amounts in the South aren't expected to produce much in the way of flash flooding.

First Snow?

The ingredients graphic we showed earlier alluded to separate branches of the jet stream.

Those two branches of the jet stream might combine just enough for a weak area of low pressure to form near the Northeast coast. That will allow moisture to be drawn far enough north to overlap with the cold air, leading to at least light snow in spots.

The bottom line is that while there is still uncertainty in this forecast, we don't expect a widespread, major snowstorm out of this pattern.

On Thursday, a thin stripe of light snow, possibly mixed with light freezing drizzle, could stretch from the mid-Mississippi Valley into the Ohio Valley and interior Northeast.

Thursday night and Friday, that strip of light snow or a rain-and-snow mix could extend from West Virginia to northern and western Pennsylvania, upstate New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Snow could linger into Friday over Maine.

The Interstate 95 corridor from Boston to New York and Philadelphia should see a cold rain from this system, but we'll continue to monitor for any forecast changes.


Thursday Night's Forecast

Light to locally moderate snowfall accumulations are possible across the interior Northeast. This includes areas from northern Pennsylvania to upstate New York, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.

This could be the first measurable snow of the season in cities such as Buffalo, New York, Syracuse, New York, Burlington, Vermont, and Bangor, Maine. Measurable snow is defined as 0.1 inch or greater accumulation.


We'll update this forecast as the scenario becomes clearer in the next day or so. Check back with us at weather.com for updates.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.


The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.