Published March 30, 2013
Dramatic changes are on the way for the beginning of April across the south-central United States as colder air, rain and even snow are set to replace this warm end to March.
Temperatures are set to plunge between 20 and 30 degrees in a matter 24 to 48 hours across Oklahoma, Louisiana and most of Texas during the first few days of April.
The same can be said for communities northward to Denver, Colo., Lincoln, Neb., Kansas City and St. Louis, Mo.
Highs in the lower 70s on Easter Sunday in Wichita, Kan., Oklahoma City, Okla., and Amarillo, Texas, will soon be replaced by highs in the 40s.
Tuesday's expected high of 48 degrees in Oklahoma City will actually be more comparable to what the city records as a low during a typical early April night. Highs in the upper 60s this time of year are more common.
Also on Tuesday, highs in the 50s are forecast for Dallas and southward to Midland, Waco and Tyler, Texas, and Shreveport, La.
The coolest day of the next several for Houston, San Antonio and New Orleans will be on Wednesday, when highs will be held to the lower 60s.
Not much in the way of rain or snow will accompany this cold blast into the Midwest and Northeast (away from the snowbelts of the Great Lakes), but that will change across the southern Plains.
Steady rain may spread from southeastern Colorado into Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana Monday night through Wednesday as the Pacific storm set to dampen California this Easter Sunday interacts with the invading cold air.
While the details of exactly where and how much rain will fall will become clearer in the upcoming days, the potential exists for some areas to pick up an inch or more of rain.
Any substantial rain across the southern Plains would definitely be welcome with 53 percent of Oklahoma and 30 percent of Texas suffering from an extreme to exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor's report last Thursday.
Enough cold air could invade places in and around the Oklahoma panhandle for the rain to mix with or change to snow on Tuesday, while AccuWeather.com meteorologists will be monitoring the potential for severe weather across the southern half of Texas and neighboring Louisiana.
East of the western Gulf Coast, the soaking rain may then spread across the South and East Coast later in the week. Snow returning to the Northeast's interior is a concern, as well as severe weather in the South.
Be sure to check back with AccuWeather.com as more information on the colder temperatures, rain, snow and severe weather threat becomes available.