A near-nationwide Arctic plunge will bury swaths of the Unites States under more than a foot of snow as Americans are warned to brace for winter ‘breaking point’.
Torrents of snow will sweep off the Great Lakes this week putting north-eastern States at risk of an early winter whiteout.
Freezing air flooding in from the Atlantic will crash with milder, moisture-laden air from the Gulf of Mexico.
Southern coastal regions should dodge the winter assault but will instead face torrential downpours and thunder.
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Weather Channel meteorologist Orelon Sidney said: “A winter storm is going to head off the east coast but not before leaving some very heavy snow in the Great Lakes.
“We will see lake-effect snow into the mid part of the week and some areas could rack up more than a foot.
Rain and snow hitting the USA
The Weather Channel
“One to three inches will be common, but there will be places like the Finger Lakes where you will see some very heavy snow amounts.
“Along the coast, it is mostly rain for you.”
It will be getting colder across the north Plains and the northwest thorough the middle of the week, she warned.
Southern regions, however, could hang on to warm air from the south to push temperatures to 60F-plus, she added.
US weather: Temperatures cling on to the southwest
The Weather Channel
However, milder conditions to the south will trigger thunderstorms, particularly across the Southern Plains and Florida.
Ms Sidney said: “Here comes the fly in the ointment.
“There could be some strong thunderstorms in the southern plains Mississippi valley on Thursday and Friday.
“A new cold front system pushes its way on towards the east by Saturday, and it is going to be quite the wash out across the Mississippi valley.”
While southwestern regions may feel milder this week, cold weather will engulf much of the United States.
Temperatures will widely sink below average for late autumn as Arctic gusts sweep in from the north.
Weather Channel meteorologist Domenica Davis said: “The cold is taking over much of the country this week.
“We will see temperatures below average all the way down to the south and off to the southeast.
“This is going to be a little bit of a chill courtesy of cold air coming down from the north.
“So, if you have been holding off turning on the heat, this week could very well be your breaking point.”
An increasingly ‘mobile’ weather pattern will see torrential rain to the southeast turn to snow as moisture hits the Great Lakes.
Jim Dale, US weather correspondent and senior meteorologist for British Weather Services, said: “There are going to be some snow showers in this region through the next few days as warm air passes over the Great Lakes.
“The weather is turning a bit more mobile, and to the south, towards the weekend, we are going to be looking at rain, and this could be attached to some vigorous thunderstorms.”
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