A trough of low pressure will sink slowly south southeastward over the Great Basin and the Southwest. This system will continue to usher an arctic air mass over the western third of the country.
This cold air will aid in the development of light to moderate snow across the Sierra Nevada, the Great Basin, the Wasatch and the Rockies. Gusty winds will affect coastal regions across the West Coast. The Pacific Northwest will stay mostly clear of precipitation on Thursday.
Meanwhile, a strong cold front will extend southwestward from the western Great Lakes to the central Rockies. A blustery cold air mass will trail this system, which will interact with moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. This interaction will generate moderate to heavy snow across the southern and central Rockies, the southern and central high Plains, the northern Plains and the upper Midwest.
Winter storm watches are in place for northeast New Mexico, northern Texas, western Oklahoma, Kansas, southern Nebraska and western Iowa. A mixture of rain, freezing rain and sleet will develop along the boundary between the warm air mass and the cold air mass. Rain and thunderstorms are expected to develop south of the cold front over the southern plains, the middle Mississippi Valley and the upper Midwest.
Flash flooding will be possible in northeast Texas, eastern Oklahoma northwest Arkansas and southwest Missouri. High pressure will keep conditions quiet across most of the eastern states. The exception to this will be scattered showers across the southern Mid-Atlantic and eastern Florida.