A brief shift in the weather pattern will bring warmer air in for a short time to the Central and Eastern states later this week. However, the stormy pattern will continue and the cold will come back.
It appears the air will warm enough ahead of the storm over the Missouri and Mississippi valleys, along with enough energy available to the storm to bring the risk of locally heavy showers and severe thunderstorms.
The storms will reach from the Gulf Coast to the lower Great Lakes. While the main threats of the storms will be locally damaging wind gusts, hail and flash flooding, a small number of the storms could produce tornadoes.
The potential for strong to severe thunderstorms by Thursday will reach from Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, as well as the southern port of Lower Michigan.
Cities on Thursday that could be impacted by gusty strong to severe thunderstorms include St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo.; Indianapolis; Cincinnati; Nashville and Memphis, Tenn.; Little Rock, Ark.; Louisville, Ky.; Jackson, Miss.; and Monroe, La.
On Friday, the potential for strong to severe storms will reach from Georgia to New Jersey.
The storms could hit some Northern states, where there is still snow on the ground and will raise the risk of flooding as a result.
The combination of a surge of warm air and rainfall will raise the risk of ice jam flooding on some streams and rivers from the lower Midwest to the mid-Atlantic.
The weight of recent snowfall and the added rain coming with the storm could be enough to stress some roofs to the point of failure.
Melting snow ahead of and during the passage of a cold front associated with the storm can lead to street and poor drainage area flooding, where storm drains have become blocked with snow.
According to AccuWeather Long Range Weather Expert Paul Pastelok, "Colder air is forecast to come back this weekend into next week in stages with the chance of very cold weather settling back in for a time during the second half of next week."
Pastelok was not overly optimistic about prolonged warmth during the month ahead.
"While average temperatures trend upward markedly during March, there will be more surprisingly cold days and more storms with snow ahead," Pastelok said.