Near-Record Temperatures and Unseasonal Snowstorm to Hit the U.S. Over the Weekend

Near-record heat will continue to hit the southwest while a late-season snowstorm approaches the Northeast this weekend.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), a surge of cold air will push south into much of the eastern U.S. on Saturday, leading to unusual weather patterns. Widespread rain and thunderstorms will move across the central and eastern parts of the nation before a late-season snowstorm becomes increasingly likely" for interior Northeast by the weekend. NWS says that the low-pressure system associated with this weather event is currently in the developmental stage across the High Plains.

The unusually cold air mass from eastern Canada will be pulled southward
down into the eastern U.S. behind the storm. This will result in widespread
record low temperatures spanning as far south as Alabama and Mississippi
on Saturday, according to NWS.

An increasingly likely snowstorm will hit the north east of the country by Saturday, according to NWS. NOAA

The central Plains will see a developing weather system as a Pacific front moves from the west of the country, interacting with a stationary front. The formation of a low-pressure system over the central Plains, which is forecast for today, will bring a swatch of rain and high-elevation snow across the northern Rockies over the course of the morning, says NWS. This will expand eastward into the central Plains ahead of the developing weather system, with severe thunderstorms possible by tonight.

The system will likely also bring a period of enhanced rainfall and thunderstorms through Mid-Mississippi and Ohio Valleys tomorrow. NWS advises that severe thunderstorms are possible for the Deep South.

However, over in the Desert Southwest, near-record heat will strike. Southern California and the southern Rockies will also be affected, says NWS. Areas such as Tuscon and Phoenix, Arizona, are under excessive heat warnings throughout today—afternoon temperatures could reach between 104
to 108 Fahrenheit (F).

An excessive heat warning is in place for Pheonix, Arizona, until 8:00 p.m. local time, today. NOAA

The fire danger will be very high throughout today over the majority of the southern Rockies as a low-pressure system develops. For Florida, NWS warns that lowering humidity and gusty winds will help elevate the risk of wildfires over the state.

These warmer temperatures, which are unusual for the season, will cause snow in higher elevated areas to melt. This can cause runoff of rivers and creeks, with cold water putting people in danger, according to NWS. This is due to cold water shock, where 20 percent of people die within the first minute if they fall in. Owens Valley in Nevada is an at-risk area.

For people in such areas, NWS advises wearing a life jacket if they are near rivers and creeks.