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National Weather at 250pm on December 9 2004


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Mild, but wet East and Northwest

2:50 P.M. ET 12/9/2004


M. Ressler, Meteorologist, The Weather Channel




While the Southwest gets a dry sunny break right into the coming week, the Northwest will have to put up with the weather that it's famous for, namely clouds, showers and mountain snow. Ahead of the next Pacific storm, warm air is surging northward and snow levels will rise to between 7500 and 8000 feet in the Washington Cascades on Friday. Heavy rain will douse western Washington and northwest Oregon while showers and high mountain snow sweep across eastern Washington into the northern Rockies. Westerly Chinook winds will be strong and gusty in Montana and Wyoming. Friday night and Saturday, a cold front will move through the Northwest, extending from northeast Montana to northwest California by Saturday evening. Temperatures will still be above average almost region-wide over the weekend, but snow levels will fall as low as 3000 feet in the wake of the front in the Washington Cascades. Showers and mountain snow will accompany the front. Strong warm westerly winds will continue ahead of the front from Montana to Colorado during the day Saturday.



A cold front will push through the Southeast Friday with rain continuing in North Carolina, showers lingering in parts of the Tennessee Valley, Georgia and South Carolina plus showers and thunderstorms pushing southward through the Florida peninsula. Gusty northwest winds will bring cooler air into Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia returning daytime temperatures to average. The cooler air will continue to penetrate the Southeast on Saturday will temperatures up to 8 degrees below average from Atlanta to New Orleans to Tampa. Snow and rain showers will dampen areas on Saturday from the Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee to the southern Appalachians. Sunday through Wednesday, the South will be dry (except for a few showers southern Florida) and cooler as a reinforcing cold front opens the door for Canadian high pressure to take firm control.



As the storm sets up over the East Friday, chilly showers and gusty northerly winds will dominate the Midwest from the Mississippi River eastward. The showers will be in the form of snow from the northern portion of the Mississippi Valley into the western Great Lakes. Snow and rain showers behind the exiting storm will linger over Michigan and the Ohio Valley on Saturday. Meanwhile the Plains will be heating up with temperatures peaking 15 to 25 degrees above average (thanks to gusty west to southwest winds ahead of an approaching western cold front) on Saturday. Low pressure will sweep across southern Canada Sunday and Monday while a cold front races eastward across the Midwest. Strong colder northwest winds in the wake of the front could produce a potentially significant lake-effect snow event later Sunday through Tuesday, beginning in northern Wisconsin and Michigan and spreading to Upstate New York, western Pennsylvania, Ohio and the mountains of West Virginia.



An eastern storm will create a wet day for the Northeast Friday from Upstate New York and the central and southern portions of New England to the Virginias. The rain may initially freeze from the Mohawk Valley to the Berkshires and northern Connecticut Valley. On Saturday, the storm will move through New England. As colder air moves in along the Canadian border, heavy wet snow could develop from the Adirondacks to northern Maine. Snowfall this season is already above average in Caribou, Maine while well below average over the remainder of the Northeast. Snow and rain showers will linger in the Appalachians on Saturday as cooler air moves in. A reinforcing cold front will move through the Northeast Monday, ushering in a cold week with below average temperatures and lake-effect snows from Upstate New York to West Virginia.

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