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March 18 - Long Range Summary

Seasonably cold temperatures east of the Rockies predominate the week ahead, along with fast moving light-moderate snowstorms whisking between the northern Plains and Northeast. Temperature volatility related to the northern tracking storm sequence focuses coldest air into the Northeast (5°-10° below average) in 2 distinct surges; early week (Monday-Tuesday), and late week (Friday-Saturday) with brief midweek warming in between. Meanwhile in the Southwest another large winter storm (much weaker than last week) is forecast by all models to develop over Arizona by midweek. Model forecasts diverge substantially in eastward track, strength, and speed of this Southwestern storm as well as the next Pacific storm lined up to slam onto the West Coast next weekend (Mar 23-24), greatly impacting 6-10 day temperature forecasts across both the West and East. However, all models indicate this storm as the start of a milder Spring pattern overall. Despite forecast uncertainty associated with generally slow eastward translation of each relatively mild spring storm across the U.S. this pattern change in itself virtually ensures progressively warming Eastern temperatures during the final week of March, and across the West by early April adding confidence to a mild April overall devoid of significant cold anywhere in the U.S.  


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