High pressure is nestled over the Northern Plains with a cool continental airmass overhead the upper half of the CONUS, in contrast to the widespread warmth of yesterday.
However, Spring-like temperatures will make a quick return over areas north of the front in the central and eastern U.S. as the cool airmass moderates and warm southerly flow gets re-established today.
By this weekend, well above average daytime highs in the 70's-80's should be commonplace from the Mid-Atlantic into the Southern Plains, which could threaten some daily high temperature records Friday and Saturday over the Central Plains and Southeast.
The period of warm weather will also support favorable fire weather conditions over the Plains and Southwest today into this weekend, where SPC highlights an Elevated (level 1/3) and Critical (level 2/3) risk of fire weather conditions today and tomorrow, respectively.
Meanwhile, west of the Rockies, a cool Pacific airmass is forecast to descend south and east over the Great Basin this weekend, in turn supporting mild high temperatures in the 40's-high 50's alongside unsettled weather.
By Saturday, up to a foot of snow is possible over mountain peaks in the Sierra, with a rain in the lower elevations.
The unsettled conditions will migrate east Saturday and snow will pickup intensity across the Rockies before the associated surface wave deepens and spreads into the Front Range, Northern Plains and Upper Midwest.
Snow will remain modest for the Plains and Upper Midwest, with totals likely to range between 3-6 inches on Saturday.
Parts of northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula may experience freezing rain up to a tenth of an inch during this period so at least some weekend travel impacts are likely.
In the warm sector of the developing surface low, strong moisture return ahead of an approaching front and dryline will support showers and thunderstorms over the Midwest/Central Mississippi Valley, some of which may be severe on Saturday per SPC.
Some localized heavy rainfall totals are possible with any thunderstorms that form, although no widespread excessive rainfall threat is expected as of now. ■