Soggy end to 2022 on tap across the southern US | will it snow in florida


The southern United States, like most of the eastern two-thirds of the nation, endured a dry but bitterly cold Christmas weekend in the wake of a potent Arctic cold front. Now, AccuWeather meteorologists say a flip in the weather pattern is on the way that will bring not only a significant warmup but also wet conditions in the final days of the year.

“An area of high pressure is expected to slowly shift off the East Coast this week, which will help to promote a warm, southerly wind out of the Gulf of Mexico,” AccuWeather Long-Range Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham said.

The cold air that was in place over the holiday weekend will retreat as the warmer air moves northward, with temperatures across portions of the South climbing as much as 40-60 degrees Fahrenheit higher than their lowest point during the cold wave.

Icicles hang from ornamental plants at sunrise Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Plant City, Florida. Farmers spray their crops with sprinklers to help protect them. Temperatures overnight dipped into the mid-20s. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

Residents and vacationers across the South itching to get outside and enjoy the milder weather will have to dodge raindrops and, in some cases, significant downpours heading into the final days of 2022.

“This increased warmth and moisture across the South is expected to set the stage for rain and thunderstorm activity later this week,” Buckingham said.

Portions of southeastern Texas, including Houston, and southwestern Louisiana may begin to feel the effects of the increased moisture as spotty drizzle and showers break out during the middle of the week.

By Thursday, even steadier rain is likely to evolve in these locations as well as portions of Arkansas and perhaps Missouri as a storm that first is expected to douse the West tracks eastward across the country.

“The storm system that will be sliding out of the Four Corners region from Wednesday into Thursday will act as the triggering mechanism for rain and thunderstorm activity,” Buckingham explained. “The current forecast calls for portions of eastern Texas, southern Arkansas and Louisiana to face a threat for heavy rain and locally strong thunderstorms from late Thursday into Friday.”

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The finer details of the evolution and speed of the storm as it continues to track eastward during Friday and Saturday will continue to be ironed out in the coming days, but AccuWeather meteorologists are projecting a wet end to the year for many areas across the South.

It is possible that 1-2 inches of rain falls across and just north of the Gulf Coast during the second half of the week, with locally higher amounts possible in the heaviest and most persistent downpours.

Late-week travelers by road and air around Nashville, Atlanta, New Orleans and Charlotte should be prepared to face slower-than-normal travel as a result of the weather.

Heading into the weekend, AccuWeather forecasters expect the rain to be drawn northward into portions of the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and Northeast — areas that were in a deep freeze over Christmas and where feet of snow fell in the lake-effect snow belts.

“The mild air streaming out of the Gulf of Mexico will expand in coverage across a majority of the eastern United States by late week,” Buckingham said. “Temperatures are expected to climb well above freezing in many areas from the Ohio Valley to the Northeast, which will bring along chances for rain rather than snow during the final days of the year.”

The exact timing of the wet weather will be key in determining whether the one million people that pack Times Square in New York City will ring in 2023 amid rainy conditions.

At the very least, AccuWeather experts expect a big thaw for the northeastern part of the country with mild, foggy and damp conditions heading into the new year.

“After the historic lake-effect snow event across the Great Lakes, increasingly mild conditions and multiple chances for rain could send rivers into flood stage in early January,” Buckingham said.

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