Weekend weather: from snow to tornadoes

Weekend weather: from snow to tornadoes

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If there was a winter equivalent of the “Dog Days of Summer,” we'd be experiencing it right now.

In other words, we are in the midst of winter weather, a time when it can be very cold, snowy, rainy miserably, or we can be in the middle of a major thaw.

Sometimes, it happens all at once.

We asked our team of meteorologists to sit down and chat about the weather they're monitoring as the weekend approaches.

There is a threat from some Major floods In parts of the south, especially on Saturday and Sunday. What are some important things to know about this story?

Chris Dolce: This weekend's rain in the south will be the final round of a cloudy, wet pattern that has held steady for several days. With the ground already saturated in parts of the area, there may be some additional localized flooding, but the progressive nature of the weekend system should limit that possibility. Another thing to watch out for ahead of this system is the potential for severe thunderstorms in parts of Alabama and Georgia on Saturday. The good news (and one I'm looking forward to as an Atlanta resident) is that after this system ends, most of the area should enjoy dry conditions as well as some sunshine next week.

What else are you keeping a close eye on this weekend?

Jonathan Erdman: Once again, Mother Nature may be at play in an NFL playoff game. This time, the AFC Championship Game could be played Sunday in Baltimore between the host Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs with at least some rain during at least part of the game, along with breezy conditions. This will be the third straight playoff game the Chiefs have played in less than ideal weather conditions. Their wild card game against the Dolphins was the coldest game ever played in Kansas City (minus 4 degrees from the start). Then they played in cold, windy weather last Sunday night in Buffalo, having to dig their field for the second straight game after back-to-back lake ice storms.

Linda Lam: I'll be watching the East Coast storm this weekend. Depending on its exact path and how much cold air is present, there could be some snow and ice in the interior Northeast and possibly a wintry mix in places along the coast Sunday night into early Monday. In other words, it's a messy forecast in many areas and some gusty winds are also likely.

Jonathan Bales: Much of the country will be cleared by Sunday except for the East Coast. After all the recent storms and cold air, this will be the first weekend in a while where it will be comfortable to be outside without jackets. Afternoon temperatures will be above freezing in the vast majority of the country and will exceed 50 degrees in much of the South.

We've had a parade of winter storms. And now we are in the big thaw. Is this normal at this stage of the season?

Chris: Weather patterns can ebb and flow for weeks at a time in the winter, so while we've gone from cold and snowy in the central and eastern states during mid-January to milder conditions now, things could certainly change again. One thing to keep in mind is that you don't need frigid Arctic air like we saw earlier this month to produce major snow storms. As long as the air is sufficiently below freezing — 30 degrees or colder — and the path of the storm coincides with the cold air, it is possible to experience major winter storms. One thing that's interesting about late January and the first half of February is that it has a history of producing major snow storms in the Northeast. Nothing was delivered last year, and there are no guarantees this year either, but it's something we always keep an eye on at this time of year.

What else is on your radar?

John: There is one state capital that experiences a prolific January. Juneau, Alaska, has accumulated more than four and a half feet of snow this month, pushing the city's airport into its deepest snow depth in nearly 52 years. This weekend, another storm will hit the area. But this time the rains will be heavy and the winds will be strong in Juneau. Southeast Alaska is windy in the heart of winter. But this weekend's deluge of that massive snowpack could leave a real mess in its wake.

Linda: The current weather pattern is very bleak across much of the lower 48 and will continue that way for many this weekend. But I look forward to when the sunshine will return. Conditions are expected to be drier next week and the sun will shine over much of the country. The weather will also be mild in many areas at this time of year, so it looks like a great opportunity to get out and get some fresh air.

Dina Knightley: Temperatures in the South will finally start to rise above average, but there's a trade-off: windy and humid weather.

Jonathan: The Northwest will remain very wet through the weekend. Most of the time, this will come in the form of rain rather than snow or ice. People will need to avoid some flooding in Western Washington since it has been very wet.

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Weather.com Reporter Jean Childs Covers breaking news and features on weather, space, climate change, environment and everything in between.

The Weather Company's primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment, and the importance of science in our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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