Published March 27, 2013
A portion of the Easter weekend will be dampened by rain and thunderstorms across much of the eastern half of the nation.
The rain, especially downpours and heavier thunderstorms, will lead to wet travel and low visibilities from Little Rock, Ark., to Memphis, Tenn., on Saturday. Rain will quickly move eastward on Sunday, impacting Nashville, Tenn., Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Pa. and Buffalo, N.Y.
Umbrellas should not be needed in the Interstate 95 corridor for sunrise services on Easter Sunday, but rain will develop during the day in New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
Unlike recent storms, the vast majority of what falls from this storm system will be in the form of rain, with just a few snow showers on the back side of the system on Sunday in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The storm will begin to develop on Friday along a stalled front sitting across the southern Plains. Showers and a few thunderstorms will fire up along the front, especially across portions of Oklahoma and Arkansas.
The developing storm will then link up with a cold front coming down from the Northwest to produce more widespread showers and thunderstorms on Saturday, with rain approaching Chicago and St. Louis, Mo., by the end of the day. A few heavier thunderstorms are possible across Arkansas, western Tennessee and Mississippi.
Out ahead of that front, the cold air will continue to retreat and allow for milder weather to move into the East, where temperatures have been below average for much of the week.
By Sunday, the rain will push eastward into the mid-Atlantic states, with a few thunderstorms developing in the Southeast along the cold front.
Many thunderstorms over the weekend will contain heavy downpours, but the ingredients will not be in place for a widespread severe weather outbreak.
Any snow should remain locked up in Canada thanks to milder air moving northward out ahead of the front. Some colder air will wrap around the storm on Sunday, allowing for a few snow showers in Minnesota and Wisconsin. However, by the time the cold air arrives, much of the moisture will have moved on to the east.
That cold air will continue to spread southeastward into the eastern part of the country early next week, providing another cold shot to welcome in the month of April. This cold wave may be the first of many across the Midwest and Northeast during the first full month of spring.