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National Weather at 1245pm December 20 2004


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Arctic air returns to Plains, Upper Midwest tomorrow

12:45 P.M. ET 12/20/2004


Sr. Meteorologist, The Weather Channel





A fresh surge of arctic air will claim the Upper Midwest and Great Plains tomorrow. Light snow in parts of the northern Plains and Upper Midwest will diminish rapidly during the morning while lake-effect snow takes over off of Lakes Superior and Michigan, mainly over the western U. P. of Michigan and western lower Michigan. Temperatures will be well below early winter means in the northern Plains, but somewhat above in the lower Midwest. Highs will range from slightly below zero in northern Minnesota to the 50s in southern Missouri, far southern Illinois and western Kentucky. Tomorrow night, things may get interesting in southeast Missouri and the lower Ohio Valley as sleet and snow break out in response to a developing storm near the Gulf Coast.



Showers and maybe a few thundershowers will break out over parts of the South tomorrow, signaling the embryonic development of a new storm. The showers are expected to dampen parts of far eastern Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, northern Mississippi and Tennessee. Then, a rapid increase in the rainfall is expected tomorrow night with heavy downpours unloading on parts of Louisiana, eastern Arkansas and western Tennessee. At the same time, some wintry precipitation--sleet and snow--may blossom over northern Arkansas. Meanwhile, high temperatures Tuesday are expected to range from the 40s in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina to the 80s in far south Texas.



Chilly conditions will continue in the Northeast tomorrow despite some busy southwesterly winds. Precipitation will be extremely limited, however, with a just a few snow flurries in western New York and western Pennsylvania. High temperatures are forecast to remain somewhat below average, ranging from the teens in portions of far northern New England to the 40s south of the Mason-Dixon Line.



Precipitation should be fairly limited in the West tomorrow with just a few rain showers in western Washington and northwest Oregon, some snow showers over the northern Rockies and Montana, and a few late-day rain or snow showers over northern New Mexico. Temperatures will range from above seasonal means in California (as offshore winds develop) and the Southwest, to near average in the Northwest, and below average east of the Rockies. Highs in the 60s will dominate the lower elevations of California, with the low 70s popping up in southeast California and southwest Arizona.

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