Warmer than average temperatures continued across the region today, reaching the 40s for most locations. An active pattern is currently unfolding aloft, but will take a few days until reflecting near the surface with a return to a wintry pattern. With strong ridging present near the western US, a trough is situated over the eastern US with a series of mid level shortwave troughs rapidly diving southeast and amplifying. An elongated and amplified trough is currently over the central US, extending toward the Gulf coast; given the progressive flow aloft and the elongated nature of the trough, consolidating too late and too far south, the low pressure will develop too far south and east to produce more than scattered rain and snow showers, which will continue over the region through Thursday with mostly cloudy skies and highs in the low-mid 40s. Similar temperatures are expected for Friday with more sunshine, with another trough moving through on Saturday producing additional isolated snow showers as a low pressure develops too far northeast, with highs in the mid to upper 30s.
A gradual return to a wintry pattern will begin on Sunday as amplified ridging persists over the western US and a strong upper level low associated with very cold temperatures returns into southeast Canada, having been present near that region for most of the winter so far before temporarily retreating into Canada late last week. Initially, the cold will remain north of the region, with a weak clipper system on Sunday producing scattered snow showers with a temporary warm up into the low 40s likely. As the upper level low shifts towards SE Canada, however, colder temperatures will return by the midweek with highs in the 20s possible. Meanwhile, as a shortwave trough likely extends into the region, the pattern indicates the potential for a low pressure to develop near or east of the region with the potential for snow and/or rain by the middle of next week. While uncertainty remains high regarding this potential, there is more confidence regarding the return of cold temperatures, although at this time any cold is unlikely to reach the extent of the early January cold outbreak.