An extended January thaw is taking hold in the eastern United States. Much milder conditions will prevail and much snow will melt in the east as something insideous builds to the west, promising to bring a significant encore to the winter of 2018.
Even 14 days out, warm air will prevail in the east while cold air prevails to the west.
This will not be a tranquil pattern, however. The same jet stream configuration bringing warm air to the east will drive a series of storms with abundant precipitation.
Winter storm watches are up in the plains and upper midwest as the first of a series of storms bring rain and snow to California and deepen the snow pack in the northern and north-central US. With a deep snow pack over so much of North America, computer models are pointing toward a return to winter in the east about 14-18 days out, a return which could rival the winter we have already seen. In the meantime, the weather will not be boring.