Atmospheric Rivers, Bomb Cyclones, and Severe Weather Coming

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Atmospheric rivers and bomb cyclones will impact the West, bringing flooding rain, and snow, severe weather in the central US on Saturday will expand into the South and upper Midwest on Sunday with potential flooding.

West: Heavy rain, snow, potential flooding

The West will see multiple rounds of snow and rain, bringing relief to the long-enduring drought, however, mudslides and debris flows are a dangerous possibility, particularly in the many burn areas across the state. Strong winds could create blowing snow and blizzard conditions in the mountains, Fox reports.

Exceptionally intense storms off the Pacific Northwest are forecast to bring turbulent weather conditions to the region into next week, with progressively stronger storms Thursday into Friday, over the weekend and into early next week, the Washington Post reported.

3-day outlook: A series of storms will bring strong winds, heavy rain, flash flooding, and feet of snow to the Western US over the next several days. Heavy rain, thunderstorms, and mixed precipitation beginning on Friday and throughout the weekend, continuing into early next week.

Flood alerts

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued flood warnings, watches, and advisories for Northern, North-Central, and south-central California.

Bomb cyclones in the West

The storms are being driven by atmospheric rivers, which are both “bomb cyclones,” or mid-latitude systems. Bomb cyclones occur when air pressures plummet rapidly, signaling rapid intensification. The first of these bomb cyclones occurred Thursday morning, dropping to nearly 950 millibars, which is typical for a category 3 hurricane.

A second bomb cyclone is predicted to occur on Sunday, with the potential pressure drop to 940 millibars, a characteristic of many category 4 hurricanes, the Washington Post reported.

Central US: Severe weather, flooding

The weather will warm up across the Midwest over the weekend. However, this will bring the potential for severe weather across the region.

Frost advisories and freeze warnings on Friday from Kansas into Minnesota and Wisconsin.

On Saturday, thunderstorms will be prevalent across most of the region, with the possibility of severe weather over central and northeastern Kansas.

On Sunday, severe thunderstorms will stretch from southeastern Texas, across Oklahoma and Kansas, spanning into Missouri and Illinois, with possible flooding rain over portions of Missouri, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana.

South: Severe thunderstorms, flooding

A significant portion of the South will see a big drop in temperatures over 24 hours with potential severe weather in these areas. Nashville will drop 15 degrees, Louisville -10, Jackson and Little Rock -13.

Thunderstorms are forecast along the Gulf Coast and Southeast on Friday.

On Saturday, thunderstorms are forecast over much of Arkansas, Louisiana, and western Mississippi.

On Sunday, severe thunderstorms are possible over most of Arkansas, northwestern Mississippi, western Tennessee and Western Kentucky. Thunderstorms will also stretch across Louisiana into central and northern Mississippi and northeastern Alabama. Thunderstorms are forecast over central and southern Florida.