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Arctic Cold/Lake Effect Snow is Big Story


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Snow from the Midwest to the southern Appalachians to New England

8:01 P.M. ET 12/19/2004


M. Ressler, Meteorologist, The Weather Channel



The arctic air is claiming at least temporary control of the nation from the eastern Plains to the East Coast. Low temperatures Monday morning will be 5 to 22 degrees below average from the Mississippi Valley to most of the East Coast which translates into a range from the minus teens in northern New York to the 20s in northern Florida and the 30s in central Florida. Lake snow will continue off of Erie overnight with another 2 to 6 inches for northeast Ohio (where as much as 4 to 8 inches have already fallen) and 1 to 4 inches for northwest Pennsylvania. Snow will continue overnight in the central Appalachians with another 2 to 4 inches in the mountains from east of Pittsburgh into western Maryland and northern West Virginia. Some of the highest elevations in Garrett County could still reach storm totals of 1 foot. In the southern Appalachians, the snow will wrap up overnight with some snow totals from the Tennessee line into western North Carolina reaching 3 to 8 inches. Snowfall in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast States will reach 1 to 2 inches from northern Virginia to New York and across northern New England while ranging between 1 inch across Cape Cod and the Islands and 5 inches in the Worcester Hills and the western and northern suburbs of Providence and Boston in southern New England. A developing storm off the Mid-Atlantic and New England coasts will be the catalyst for the larger snow amounts in southern New England through Monday morning before the storm veers away into the Canadian Maritimes.


Meanwhile, milder air is making a bold push into the western edge of the arctic air lodged over the Midwest. Light snow, already in Minnesota, will spread across the Upper Midwest tonight and into Michigan Monday. The western and southern fringes of the snow will mix with or change to light sleet and a little freezing rain before ending Monday. Eastern Upper Michigan and western Lower Michigan could be in for heavy snow from Monday into Tuesday with as much as 6 to 10 inches possible from Muskegon to Sault Ste. Marie.


The strong winds off the eastern slopes of the Rockies in Montana and Wyoming will advance into the western and central Dakotas Monday. The strongest gusts in the northern high Plains will likely be in the 50 to 60 mph range. High wind warnings and watches remain in effect.

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