DISCUSSION: The jet stream marks the boundary between cold polar air and warmer air to the south. In addition, it serves as the storm track along which low pressure centers (i.e., mid-latitude cyclones) tend to move. Currently, the jet stream is dipping down across the center of the U.S. allowing especially cold air to filter farther south than it normally would this time of year. When you combine unusually cold temperatures with mid-latitude cyclones, there is the potential to get snow/ice in places that normally don't see such weather in April. In particular, there are three mid-latitude cyclones that are expected to impact the northern half of the U.S. over the next four days, bringing the potential for snow as far south at Springfield, MO and Washington D.C. as indicated in the graphic above. Many local-scale factors influence snow totals. For example, if the ground is or was recently above freezing, that could contribute to melting and a smaller snow total. If more precipitation falls as sleet or freezing rain, that also would reduce the snow totals. Outside of higher elevations out west, there could be just a dusting of snow up to several inches. The key point is that if you live in the northern half of the country, your might want to keep your winter coats and other winter gear out for a bit longer this season.
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© 2018 Meteorologist Dr. Ken Leppert II