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Cold with Lake Effect Snow, Flurries in S Texas


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Very cold, a few snowy spots

10:30 A.M. ET 12/24/2004


James Wilson and M. Ressler, Meteorologists, The Weather Channel



You can expect a real feel of winter with actual lows and highs averaging 15 to 25 degrees below average for late December from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast to the Carolinas right through Christmas Day. The record snow, (10 to as much as 32 inches) put down by the powerful storm will aid the cold readings the next few days and nights. Also, the locations in the Ohio Valley to Arkansas and western Tennessee Valley will continue to have slick spots as the snow melts and refreezes. Take it easy with your Holiday travels. The good news is that by next week a significant warming trend will kick in as the pattern changes to allow a great deal of melting of the snow, especially in the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys.


Some lake-effect snow continues. The snow is fairly light off of Lakes Superior and Michigan into upper Michigan and western Lower Michigan. Two more hefty snow plumes (one off of eastern Lake Erie and one off of eastern Lake Ontario) are producing locally heavy snow between Buffalo and Jamestown (up to 5 inches) and well north of Syracuse to south of Watertown (possible up to 12 inches) in Upstate New York.


Some snow and sleet is falling in southernmost Texas. From Corpus Christi to Brownsville, the cold rain will mix with sleet and snow from time to time while sleet and snow has been falling just inland. This doesn't happen very often and is all courtesy of the cold air in place and moisture surging off the Gulf of Mexico being acted upon by a sub-tropical disturbance. The strong jet stream across the Deep South is generating patchy light precipitation along the northern Gulf Coast ranging from sleet in New Orleans and the western Florida panhandle to sprinkles in southernmost Georgia.


A shift is in the air off the West Coast. The pattern will go from dry high pressure aloft to a major trough of low pressure by Sunday and Monday. This will end the dry weather from Seattle to Los Angeles. By Monday it will get active from Los Angeles to Phoenix as moisture pushes off the Pacific and turns the rainy season back on again. In the meantime, morning fog remains a problem for the I-5 corridor from western Washington to the Central Valley of California. Strong winds could cause travel problems and localized damage in the mountains around Los Angeles and San Diego and east of the continental divide in Montana and Wyoming.

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