While it has remained consistently below average east of the Rockies, the western states have pretty much experienced the warmth of that spring.
The 70s and even 80s were widely found throughout the Intermountain West this afternoon.
While warmth is certainly welcome after a cold, snowy/rainy winter, this sudden and prolonged warm-up doesn’t come without consequences.
The aforementioned snowy winter has left more than 300 inches of snow on some of the highest peaks of the Rockies, Cascades and Sierra Nevadas. Sudden warming in the west has allowed rapid melting to occur. Therefore, recent river flooding is a major concern.
There have been many rivers in this area that are near flood or minor flood levels. As above-average temperatures last through the weekend, more ice melts will occur, possibly pushing more stations into mild or moderate flooding.
And, to further complicate the water situation in the west, a series of systems will begin bringing rain and snow in the mountains to the western states as early as tomorrow.
While the first system will cause more problems for the Pacific Northwest and California, the second system arriving later in the week will be more widespread across the entire West.
Finally, the area could expect half an inch to an inch of widespread rain over the next 6 days.
While that doesn’t seem like much in the grand scheme of things, more water pouring into already swollen rivers doesn’t really help the flooding.
Beyond the next 7 days, additional systems could pass with more rainfall for the area as the PNA is forecast to become neutral/slightly negative (this will create a western trough, east band). But if it turns positive again near the middle of the month, another warm-up could be on the horizon.
How warm? Too early to say. It’s worth watching as we move through the first half of the month.
About the author
Meteorologist – ’22 Mississippi State Writer for Weather.us and Weathermodels.com. Focus on weather communication. BoyMom x1, CatMom x5. Twitter: @MegGulledgeWX