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National Weather at 1145am December 23 2004


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Arctic cold to follow the record snow

11:45 A.M. ET 12/23/2004


Matthew Newman and M. Ressler, Sr. Meteorologists, The Weather Channel




Some locations along the Ohio Valley have picked up over two feet of snow with 5-foot drifts. This storm dumped a swath of a foot or more of snow across southeastern Missouri, southern and eastern Indiana, western and north-central Kentucky plus western and central Ohio. Severe icing up to an inch in thickness has been left behind across central Kentucky. The winter storm responsible for the mess will be racing up through the St. Lawrence River Valley by this evening. Winds will also be gusty across the region which will cause the fallen snow to blow and drift. In the storm's wake, arctic cold will lock in through the weekend. This will also keep the lake-effect snow machine cranking. Highs will hold in the teens and 20s across the Ohio Valley today with single-digits and teens expected by Friday. Highs today across the Upper Midwest will be subzero for many. Expect many places across the Ohio Valley to wake up Christmas morning with temperatures well below zero. Temperatures will rebound into the 40s and 50s in the Plains this weekend and warmer air will head into the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley by Monday.



Warm air and moisture pushing northward ahead of the storm racing into Canada will result in a wet day across the region. This system has the potential to dump one to two inches of rain across the Appalachians with lesser amounts closer to the coast. Expect temperatures ahead of the front to reach the mid to upper 50s with the rain and showers starting along the I-95 corridor later in the day. Behind the front, cold air will begin clashing with the moisture and rain will turn to snow showers as you travel west through upstate New York and western Pennsylvania. Winds will also be strong and gusty as the storm plows through. Other than some lake effect snow Friday and Saturday, the Northeast will be dry until midweek. After daytime high temperatures 5 to 15 degrees below average over the weekend, highs will dramatically rebound to 5 to 15 degrees above average by this coming Wednesday.



Showers will linger across the Carolinas, eastern Georgia and the Florida peninsula today as the tail end of the system racing into Canada drapes across the Southeast. However, temperatures are crashing behind the cold front as it crosses the region. Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana will already see high temperatures some 25 degrees below daily averages. That cold air will move the Southeast, where highs will struggle to break the 40s from North Carolina to the Florida panhandle by Friday. While below average temperatures linger across the South through the weekend, a disturbance will quickly slide eastward across the Gulf bringing rain and possibly a little sleet and freezing rain to southernmost Texas on Friday and a soaking rain to the Florida peninsula on Sunday.



Comparatively speaking, the West will endure an uneventful today. High pressure will be in control west of the Rockies, which means one thing...Santa Ana. High winds warnings are up for the mountains, passes and canyons of Southern California where 60 to 80 mph gusts could be measured. Temperatures along the coast will remain near average, but as you travel east temperatures will drop significantly. East of the Rockies over the high Plains, high temperatures will be 15 to 35 degrees below average. That translates to single digit highs for Denver. The weather pattern will shift from late weekend on through the coming week. A big upper-level system will come into the West with West Coast and Southwest rain and interior snow and much lower temperatures.

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