A fast west-to-east flow across the nation next week will keep the coldest air out of the South but will lead to stormy conditions in the West and Central states.
According to AccuWeather.com Long Range Expert Bob Smerbeck, "As the South stays relatively warm, the pattern will cause brief bouts of cold and mild air from the central Rockies to the East."
Temperatures will climb into the 50s around New York City for a few days this week during the in-and-out warm and cold spells. The average high for New York City is in the upper 40s during early December.
Temperatures this week will reach the 60s on multiple days in Atlanta and will climb into the 70s for at least a couple of days in Dallas.
The persistent mild weather in the South and its occasional visits to the East will bring some good opportunities for setting up outdoor Christmas decorations, viewing tree lighting ceremonies and helping shoppers to shed winter coats for their ventures. The break in the winter weather for a few days this week will assist in storm cleanup operations in hard-hit areas of northern New England.
A push of cold air will sweep from the northern Rockies early this week to the Northeast by Tuesday. This first push will bring some rain that can end as a bit of snow over part of the Midwest to the eastern Great Lakes region on Monday. Precipitation east of the Rockies will be relatively light.
"A second push of cold air near the ground during the middle of this week could eventually be followed by just enough wintry precipitation to cause travel problems over the Midwest," Smerbeck said.
After a storm brings some needed rain to drought-stricken areas of Southern California Tuesday into Wednesday, it could produce a swath of snow and ice from part of the upper Mississippi Valley to portions of the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes Wednesday into Thursday.
"The key to how much freezing or frozen precipitation there is will depend on how far south that second push of cold air gets over the Midwest at midweek," Smerbeck said.
A wintry mix is possible in parts of the central Appalachians and northern New England toward end of next week.
The reinforcing pushes of cold air will trim temperatures around Chicago and Detroit, after a mild start to the week. Highs most days from Tuesday through Sunday will be in the 30s.
Keep checking in on AccuWeather.com for updates on the storms and the potential for snow and ice in the West, Midwest and Northeast during the upcoming week.