Severe storms are possible this holiday weekend

By Allison Chinchar, CNN Meteorologist

Storm systems will create a messy holiday weekend across most of the United States, with a soggy and stormy start to Passover – with a risk of isolated tornadoes – for many in the Southeast and Northeast, as well than possibly snow-covered Easter eggs from Montana to Michigan.

If you have outdoor plans this weekend, you may need to pack your umbrella or parka.

Severe storms make the southeast soggy

New Orleans; Jackson, Mississippi; Birmingham, Alabama; and Atlanta, will all have several rain showers this weekend.

On Saturday, strong to severe thunderstorms will stretch from Dallas to Wilmington, North Carolina.

The main threats are isolated tornadoes, damaging winds, hail and frequent lightning.

Severe storms are also likely Sunday from Shreveport, Louisiana to Tallahassee, Florida.

While most showers and thunderstorms are expected to bring less than 2 inches of total rain, some stronger storms could produce heavy downpours, dropping 3 to 5 inches.

All thanks to a front that is essentially stagnant over many Southern states, bringing long periods of rain.

While this weekend isn’t dire for everyone, there are chances of rain from the Arkansas-Louisiana-Texas region through the Carolinas.

For some cities — including Columbia, South Carolina, and Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina — rain is due primarily on Saturday, allowing for drier conditions on Sunday and a chance to participate in some outdoor activities without getting drenched.

Sun and Rain for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Much like the Carolinas, many parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast will face rain for half of the weekend.

New York, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia all have rain forecasts for Saturday, with a drier second half of the weekend.

After the passage of the system, temperatures will drop a little on Sunday.

Boston, for example, will drop from a predicted high on Saturday in the mid-60s to a high on Sunday in the 50s. Similarly, Philadelphia will drop from a predicted high on Saturday of 70 degrees to the mid-50s on Sunday.

Winter returns to the Midwest

Across the Midwest, weekend snow showers and temperatures 10 to 20 degrees lower than normal won’t feel like spring.

Minneapolis normally sees a high temperature of around 57 degrees, but this weekend it will hover around 40 degrees, making it feel like early March. Bismarck, North Dakota, which normally sees highs in the mid-50s, expects a Saturday high of 26 degrees — the normal high temperature for mid-February.

Both towns could also have snow on Sunday, so the Easter egg hunt could be a little tougher this year.

Snow accumulations will be highest in the Dakotas, where more than 6 inches could fall in just two days. Elsewhere in the Midwest, 1 to 3 inches of fresh snow is expected this weekend.

A new system is coming to the west coast

Portland, Oregon has had measurable rain or snow every day this week and could use a break. But we will have to wait until Sunday for a day without any rain in anticipation.

A new system pushing over the west coast will bring additional rain — and snow at higher elevations — from Seattle to San Francisco.

The system begins in Northern California before moving north and east through the weekend.

The heaviest rain will be over northern California, where 1 to 3 inches are expected.

For the higher elevations of the Cascades, Sierra, and Olympic ranges, snow is also expected beginning early Saturday morning. Saturday evening sees this moisture moving into Intermountain West and bringing light snow across the Rockies.

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