The unusually long stretch of winterlike temperatures that left a majority of the U.S. shivering over the past two weeks has finally come to an end, and a much-welcome warmup will take hold across the Plains and Midwest before expanding eastward through the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
A massive dip in the jet stream has been responsible for the recent chill, allowing the cold air from Canada to plunge all the way down to the Gulf Coast. But a pattern change is now underway, which will allow milder temperatures to spread across the Lower 48 over the coming days.
"Our jet stream is going to be taking a little trip up to the north, and that's going to allow for this thaw out," FOX Weather meteorologist Britta Merwin said. "So for places like Chicago, you're being impacted by that ridge of high pressure that's building in the Southeast, and that's going to produce this warm flow."
Most of the nation can also expect relatively quiet weather to accompany the warmup through the middle of the week, but a large storm system will impact the eastern half of the country beginning on Thanksgiving Day and continuing into the holiday weekend.
Northeast, mid-Atlantic and Southeast
The worst of the recent cold spell is over as warmer temperatures start to infiltrate the region on Wednesday.
Highs will be above average on Wednesday, Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, and it could turn even warmer for the weekend as temperatures reach 5 to 10 degrees above average.
Midwest and northern Plains
The warming trend began Monday from the northern and central Plains to the Midwest, and it will continue through most of the week.
On Wednesday, highs are expected to range from 5 to 15 degrees above average across the region, which will be a welcome change after nearly two weeks of temperatures that were 10 to 20 degrees below average.
After cooling a few degrees on Thanksgiving Day, the FOX Forecast Center said an even warmer airmass could infiltrate the Plains and Midwest by Friday and continue into the holiday weekend. High temperatures could be nearly 20 degrees above average for late November.
This warm air will expand into the Central Plains by Friday, with highs topping off nearly 20 degrees above average.
After a chilly start to the week in the southern Plains, temperatures will rebound and remain closer to average through Thanksgiving Day.
Another shot of cool air will infiltrate the region on Black Friday when highs will be stuck in the 40s and 50s. Saturday will trend a few degrees warmer but remain colder than average.
Near-average temperatures should return by Sunday, translating to highs in the 60s and 70s across Texas.
West Coast to Rockies
A second shot of warm air is expected to move into the West on Thanksgiving.
This will lead to highs 5 to 10 degrees above average along the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington.
These warmer temperatures are expected to last into the weekend.
In the Rockies, high temperatures are expected to be 5 to 10 degrees above average by Black Friday.