Wild, weird weather is coming to the U.S. this week with snow and record cold in the West, record warmth in the East, and a threat of heavy flooding rain in the central part of the USA.
Widespread snow will persist through late Tuesday across parts of the western mountains and into the High Plains as a strong cold front slides through the Rockies and into the central U.S., the National Weather Service said. Accumulations will be heavy at times, especially for the central Rockies, where more than 18 inches of snow is possible.
The weather service issued winter storm warnings for much of the higher elevations of Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico, and for parts of the Plains from western South Dakota to northwestern Nebraska, the Weather Channel said.
Dangerous winter weather conditions, including blowing snow and high winds, are expected in these areas.
Record cold is also forecast in parts of the West, all along the I-5 corridor from Seattle to Portland to Sacramento and Bakersfield, Calif., AccuWeather said. San Francisco will join this list.
Lows Tuesday morning will drop into the 20s in central California. The weather service warned of a frightful night for people, pets and pipes.
"Definitely a critically cold night ahead for livestock, pets, outdoor pipes, and lastly valley vegetation which has experienced an earlier than usual spring bloom," the weather service in Hanford, Calif., said.
"There is concern for some damage to the citrus crop and growers should take precautions," AccuWeather senior agricultural meteorologist Dale Mohler said.
Frost and freeze warnings are in place for much of the state.
Elsewhere, Arctic air will continue to spill into the northern states, allowing a significant drop in temperatures over the next couple of days, the weather service said.
Record warmth in the East
While the West shivers, folks in the eastern U.S. can break out the shorts, flip flops and t-shirts this week as temperatures soar into the 70s as far north as New England.
"The surge of springlike warmth Tuesday into Wednesday across the East will provide temperatures more akin to May rather than the end of February," AccuWeather meteorologist Maggie Samuhel said.
Records highs could be shattered from Atlanta to Boston, AccuWeather said.
Albany, N.Y., could even break its all-time winter record high temperature of 74 degrees on Wednesday, according to Philippe Patin, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Albany.
Rain, snow and flooding in the central U.S.
While the north-central U.S. deals with snow and cold, portions of the south-central U.S. will see a very wet week, potentially leading to flooding.
Repeated rainfall over already saturated ground may lead to flooding near rivers and streams, especially in the Ohio Valley and Appalachians, according to the Weather Channel.
Scattered to widespread rain and thunderstorms are forecast from Texas to the Great Lakes region, the weather service warned. An axis of 2 to 4 inches is forecast from eastern Texas to lower Michigan, with pockets of 5-plus inches over northeast Texas to the Ozarks.
"Thunderstorms will have little movement and/or track over the same area; which will greatly increase the likelihood of flooding conditions," the weather service said.
Flooding is likely from northeastern Texas to southern Missouri Tuesday into Wednesday.
"This has the potential to be a significant to major flood threat over the next week to 10 days," Weather Channel meteorologist Chris Dolce said.