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Stormy pattern for Midwest, West


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Powerful winter storm heads into the West

10:30 A.M. ET 11/27/2004


Tim Ballisty and M. Ressler, Meteorologists, The Weather Channel



A storm tracking from the northern Mississippi Valley toward James Bay, Canada, is producing snow from northern Iowa to western Upper Michigan while rain shifts eastward from the central Mississippi Valley toward a Sunday rendezvous with the Northeast. Western Upper Michigan will be hardest hit with the snow with accumulations possibly over 12 inches by Sunday morning. Minneapolis is receiving its first snow of the 2004/2005 season. Strengthening northeast winds will swing around to the northwest as the deepening low pressure center moves by and the gusty winds will cause blowing and drifting snow plus low visibilities. As the storm moves away Sunday, lingering gusty northwest winds will produce several inches of lake-effect snow off of Superior and Michigan.


Along the trailing cold front, thunderstorms are heading from the lower Mississippi Valley through the northern Gulf Coast States. Locally heavy downpours, frequent lightning, and gusty winds have been the main ingredients as these storms. Some storms have reached severe limits with wind the primary threat, but isolated tornadoes have been a product as well. Already this morning, a possible tornado thrashed through parts of Jefferson County in southeast Texas. Rain and thunderstorms will continue to head eastward; pushing through the Gulf States during much of the day with the severe threat still a good possibility especially across southeast Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southern Alabama, and the western panhandle of Florida.


A new strengthening winter storm is currently heading southward through California carrying with it plenty of cold air and a good deal of Pacific moisture. Winter weather and snow advisories, heavy snow and winter storm warnings and winter storm watches are in effect for a good deal of the mountainous areas of the West; from the Sierras and mountains of Southern California to the Wasatch to the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Snow levels are lowering to between 3000 and 4000 feet in California with over a foot of snow for the higher elevations of the Sierra and up to 6 inches tonight in the mountains east of Los Angeles along with strong winds. Anywhere from 2 to 10 inches of snow is possible across northern and central Nevada. One to two feet (or even more) of snow is possible in the Wasatch of Utah and the southwestern mountains of Colorado. Also with cold air in place, southeast Wyoming and parts of the Nebraska is in for snow tonight through Sunday night ranging from up to 16 inches in the mountains to 8 inches in the high Plains.

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