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National Weather at 235pm February 17 2005


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Cold Northeast and Wet Southwest

2:35 P.M. ET 2/17/2005


M. Ressler, Sr. Meteorologist, The Weather Channel




Two reinforcing shots of cold air, one overnight tonight and a second over the weekend with keep daytime temperatures 5 to 20 degrees below average right through Sunday. Lake-effect snow, particularly off of Ontario will be diminishing on Friday. Meanwhile, northerly coastal winds could bring accumulating ocean-effect snow to Cape Cod. Saturday and Saturday night, a new upper-level disturbance and cold front will bring mainly light snow accumulations to Upstate New York and New England. Finally later Sunday and Monday, a storm from out of the Southwest will meet up with the entrenched cold air. A wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain will change to rain by Monday in the much of the Mid-Atlantic (especially south of the Mason-Dixon Line), but a significant snowstorm could be in the making for New York and New England. Stay tuned!



The Southwest quadrant of the nation faces renewed wet weather right into the coming week. The low west of California will be reinforced by a new upper-level low sliding down the West Coast later this weekend. A broad area from Oregon and California to Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico will pick up at least some rain and mountain snow. Unfortunately, the driest parts of the Northwest will miss out almost completely. The heaviest rains and mountain snows will focus on Southern California, southern Nevada, southern Utah, southwest Colorado and the higher elevations of Arizona and western New Mexico. Southern California will receive two heavy periods of rain, one from Friday into Saturday and a second from late Sunday into Tuesday. The first bout of heavy rain could dump anywhere from a few inches over the coastal areas south of Monterey to as much as one foot across the most favored southwest facing slopes of Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. Flooding, mudslides and debris slides will again be in the news. Meanwhile, heavy snowfall will range from as much as 8 inches in the northern Sierra to well over one foot in the southern Sierra and the mountains of southern Nevada. Southwest precipitation totals so far this season range from 1.5 to almost 4 times average.



After a dry Friday (some light rain will try to streak into the southern High Plains), the South is in for an extended period of wet weather, possibly right into late next week. One upper-level disturbance will race out of the Southwest along the southern branch of the jet stream Saturday through Monday, bringing rain first to the southern Plains, then the lower Mississippi Valley and finally the Southeast. The rain will be followed by warmer air. Later Sunday, the rain could begin as sleet and freezing rain in North Carolina before the milder air moves in Monday. More disturbances will shoot eastward from out of the Southwest Tuesday through Friday, sparking more rain. Colder air will take over region-wide for the last weekend in February.



The lake-effect will end over Lower Michigan and northeast Ohio Friday as a new disturbance and cold front enter the Upper Midwest. This next system will quickly move through the Great Lakes Friday night and Saturday with snow showers followed by another brief bout of lake-effect snow. Also on Saturday, a Southwest disturbance will approach and bring showers bounded to the north with a little snow to the central Plains. The disturbance and rain will shift across the Ohio Valley Sunday into Monday fringed to the north by a band of possibly significant snow across the southern Great Lakes. Milder air will briefly follow this rain event. Tuesday and Wednesday could be a repeat performance of Saturday through Monday from the central Plains to the southern Great Lakes and Ohio Valley as more rain heads eastward.

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