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Nat'l Weather (815PM) October 19 2004


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Significant storm impacting the West

8:13 P.M. ET 10/19/2004


John Desjardins, Senior Meteorologist, The Weather Channel




With a storm system sitting off the coast, California was pounded by heavy rain and strong wind on Tuesday. One to three inches of rain fell across northern and central California during the day. This rain will work its way south through the evening. Showers will continue across Southern California Tuesday night and into Wednesday, though rainfall may not be quite as heavy as it was to the north. Wind gusts approached 50 mph in the San Francisco Bay area and Sacramento Valley. The Sierra Mountains were blanketed with heavy snow. Well over a foot of snow is expected above 5000 feet before the storm system winds down. On Wednesday, look for unsettled conditions to continue across the West as a trough deepens over the region. Rain showers and mountain snow will fall from the Rockies to the Great Basin and into California. The heaviest rain, up to an inch, is expected from Southern California into Utah. Locally higher amounts are possible. Mountain snow will continue from the Sierras to the Wasatch. More scattered rain will fall across the Pacific Northwest. Temperatures will remain below average across the region, with high temperatures ten to fifteen degrees below seasonal averages. Although this system will begin to move into the Plains by Friday, another – weaker - storm will move into the Pacific Northwest on its heels.



Severe thunderstorms erupted across portions of the Southeast on Tuesday. Large hail, strong winds, and a few tornadoes were reported in Alabama, Mississippi, western Tennessee, and southeastern Arkansas. Several homes were damaged by strong winds in the northwestern portion of the Florida Panhandle. Heavy rain accompanied this storm system, with one to three inches of rain falling from northern and central Alabama into North Georgia. The storminess of the past several days will begin to wind down on Wednesday. Though it will remain warm and humid, only scattered shower and thunderstorm activity is expected across the Southeast. Highs will be in the 70s and 80s. Farther west, it was another record-breaking day of heat across Texas. Houston set a record at 94 degrees. Laredo, along the Rio Grande River, hit 100. With sunny skies expected again on Wednesday, look for more records to fall. Highs will be in the 90s across the eastern half of Texas and portions of Louisiana, with 80s across Oklahoma and Arkansas.



It was a gray, damp, and cool day across the Northeast. Low clouds and patchy fog lingered throughout the day from New England into the Ohio Valley. At times, visibility was reduced to under a mile in parts of western Pennsylvania. Rain showers were not as heavy as expected, but scattered light drizzle fell from the clouds across much of the region. A raw northeast breeze made temperatures in the 40s and 50s feel even more unpleasant. Only southern Virginia, on the mild side of a warm front, enjoyed sunshine with highs in the 70s. On Wednesday, gray skies will linger for much of the region. Patchy dense fog is likely during the morning. Scattered rain showers are still possible across interior sections of the Northeast. Clouds may begin to break up during the afternoon. But it will remain cold, with highs generally in the 50s.



Most of the Midwest was stuck north of a warm front on Tuesday, resulting in a generally cloudy and cool day. A few light rain showers fell across the Upper Midwest as a weak storm system spun into Canada. High temperatures were in the 40s along the Canadian border. Low clouds, fog, and patchy drizzle made for a miserable day in the Ohio Valley. More sunshine allowed for highs in the 60s across parts of the central Plains. Improving conditions are on the way for Wednesday across much of the region. Clouds will hang tough across the Ohio Valley and a few showers are still possible across Michigan. Highs will be in the 50s from the Dakotas to the western Great Lakes with 60-degree readings from the central Plains into the northern Ohio Valley. A mix of sun and clouds can be expected from Kansas and Nebraska into Kentucky. The sun will allow some areas to climb into the 70s.

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