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National Weather at 715pm December 11 2004


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Wind machine for the Great Lakes

7:18 P.M. ET 12/11/2004


James Wilson, Meteorologist, The Weather Channel




A fast moving storm (clipper) will dominate the weather across the Plains and Midwest on Sunday. A deepening low-pressure system will zip along the Canadian border reaching the north shores of Lake Huron by late Sunday evening. A cold front will sweep the region from the Dakotas to the Appalachians in one day. Strong and potentially damaging northwest winds will follow in the wake of the front from the Dakotas and Nebraska into the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. As the day goes on, gusts could reach to between 50 and 55 mph from the Dakotas to western Michigan. Less than an inch of snow plus the strong winds across eastern North Dakota and northern Minnesota will likely produce blizzard conditions for a time. Ahead of the storm, snow could accumulate anywhere from 2 to 8 inches across northern portions of Wisconsin and Michigan. Once the cold front goes through, the lake-effect snow machine will take over with locally over a foot of additional snow and blizzard conditions from late Sunday through Monday. After an initial burst of wet snow or chilly rain, the lake effect Sunday night and Monday will crank up over western Lower Michigan and northwest Indiana first and then northeast Ohio with plenty of flurries in between. Temperatures will range from average to as much as 8 degrees below average by Monday.



Even as one storm finally exits into the Canadian Maritimes, a new fast mover will cruise across the Northeast Sunday night and Monday. Ahead of the strong cold front, Upstate New York and then northern New England will receive a several-inch burst of wet snow while southern New England and the northern Mid-Atlantic will be dampened by a quick round of chilly showers. Once the front moves through, some snow will continue from Maine to Upstate New York and southward along and west of the Appalachians. As the west-to-northwest winds increase, the Erie and Ontario lake-effect snow machines will crank up Monday into Tuesday with the heaviest snows most likely in northwest Pennsylvania and the southwest corner of New York. Colder air will continue to flood into the region through midweek even as the lake-effect snow ends with daytime temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday some 5 to 17 degrees below average.



The South will be almost precipitation free through Wednesday as the weather pattern changes gear. Later Sunday and Monday, a strong, dry cold front will rapidly move the region from the southern Plains to Florida. Then, a sprawling area of cold Canadian high pressure will take over. Daytime temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday will be 5 to 15 degrees below average, except closer to average in Oklahoma and northern Texas. This means 40s from Oklahoma to the Carolinas, 50s from northern and central Texas to south Georgia and northern Florida, 60s in south Texas and central Florida and 70s in southernmost Florida. At night, 20s will almost reach the northern Gulf Coast and the teens will dominate the southern Appalachians. Thursday and Friday, a few showers may spill out into Texas from a system in the Southwest. The east coast and southern parts of Florida may see a few showers each day Tuesday through Friday.



A mediocre storm system slowly edging into the coast of Oregon will shoot showers and mountain snow into the Pacific Northwest Sunday and Monday and snow showers will dot the Rockies from western Montana to Colorado. Dense morning fog will continue to be a problem in the Central Valley of California. Then a new Pacific storm system will move into the Northwest on Tuesday, keeping the dreary pattern status quo. After moving inland, this second storm will dive southward into the Southwest. The Northwest will turn dry for the second half of the week, but fog and low clouds could become a problem in the valleys of Washington and Oregon. Meanwhile, the sunny Southwest will turn showery during the second half of the week. Daytime temperatures will remain mostly above average through midweek, except briefly below average in eastern Colorado on Monday and in eastern New Mexico on Tuesday.

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