Stormy Weather to Continue in Central U.S. From Extreme Weather Pattern That Will Also Bake South and Keep West Cool

Chris Dolce
Published: May 22, 2019

Rounds of thunderstorms will continue to plague parts of the Plains and Midwest into the last week of May, and the same stuck weather pattern will also bake the Southeast and keep the West cool and unsettled.

Sometimes the jet-stream pattern becomes wavy enough that it locks into place for days or even for more than at week at time. Such is the case now, with a pronounced southward plunge of the jet stream over the West in contrast to its building northward bulge over the East.

That stuck jet-stream pattern means the weather conditions you can expect from coast to coast are generally locked in through the rest of this week and into next week.

Storms Continue in Central U.S.

Periods of rain and thunderstorms are expected in the Plains and Midwest for days to come after an early-week outbreak of severe weather.

That's because the central states will be sandwiched between the undulating jet-stream pattern in the West and East, making it ripe for the formation of showers and thunderstorms.

Some of those storms in the Plains and Midwest could turn severe each day through Memorial Day weekend. They may also unleash heavy rain at times, raising the risk of flash flooding and aggravating or prolonging ongoing river flooding.

There is a risk of severe storms in parts of the Plains each day through at least Saturday, including parts of storm-weary Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

Thursday's Severe Thunderstorm Forecast

Building Heat Through Memorial Day

Heat has begun to build in the Southeast, and it will intensify through the holiday weekend.

Highs will soar into the middle and upper 90s, even a few lower 100s, over Memorial Day weekend in parts of the Southeast. Some locations could flirt with their all-time record highs for May.

(MORE: Memorial Day Heat Wave Forecast

Forecast Highs

In the Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic, temperatures will hit the upper 80s and lower 90s later this week into the weekend.

A dome of high pressure to the south of the northward-riding jet stream in the East will be responsible for the hot weather.

That high might not loosen its grip for the rest of the month, and temperatures could remain above average in the Southeast, according to a 6- to 10-day outlook from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.

West Remains Cool, Unsettled

Below-average temperatures, rain and even mountain snowfall will continue in the West into early next week. That's because a southward-plunging jet stream will remain stuck over region, blocked by the bulging high-pressure system over the South.

Snow fell as far south as the mountains of Southern California and northern Arizona Sunday into early Monday. While heavy snow hammered the foothills west of Denver, several slushy inches were recorded in the Mile High City itself on Monday, and Boulder, Colorado, saw its heaviest snow so late in spring in 69 years.

(MORE: The Strange Places It's Still Snowing in May)

Temperatures will generally remain below average from California to the northern Rockies through this weekend. Highs through Thursday could be 10 to 30 degrees below average.

Periods of rain showers and high-mountain snow will also continue into next week as ripples of energy move through the stubborn southward plunge of the jet stream in the West. At times, some wet snow may fall in some lower elevations of the High Plains.

Rain and Snow Forecast

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