"Warm and Sunny" May Be Premature

As I drove home from the gym this afternoon, I heard the radio announcer state the cold wave in the central United States was over and that we were going to have a long period of sunny weather. At least one person stated this (using almost the exact words) on Twitter this afternoon. 

I'm not so sure. 

Temperatures
While Thursday may be warmer in some places, things cool down a bit on Friday. 

By Friday afternoon, the cold weather is back in force as far south as Dallas.

By Saturday 6pm, the center of this cold air mass is forecast to be over Iowa with high temperatures below zero. 

I don't see any temperatures significantly warmer than average for the Midwest and the Central + Northern Great Plains through the early part of next week. 

As to the "sunny" part, it is nice and sunny through the central U.S. right now, so much so you can see the snow cover via weather satellite. The rivers and large lakes show up well.
Other than over the Great Lakes and parts of Minnesota and North Dakota, all of the white in the above photo is snow cover. 

However, a major storm is going to move into the Northwest.
Color codes:
  • Deep purple: ice storm warning, includes Portland and additional power failures possible.
  • Pink:  winter storm warning 
  • Bright blue:  Avalanche warning
  • Brown: high winds
  • Greens: heavy rain and flood forecasts/advisory
  • Brown: high winds
Below is a forecast of 7-day precipitation. 
Torrential rain (snow at higher elevations) will move onto the West Coast the next few days. The rain will extend all the way to northern Baja California. 

The low pressure system that is going to bring rain to the desert of Baja is going to move slowly east. Note the rain forecast over Arizona. It will then bring rain to the southern Great Plains and rain or winter precipitation to the central Plains. I believe the NWS's location of the rain a week from today is too far southeast. This low will bring a prolonged period of cloudiness. 

I hate to be the person who throws cold water (it's winter, "cold water," get it?!) over the forecast of an extended period of warm and sunny weather but I just don't see it. It would be great if I am incorrect.

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