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National Weather at 215pm December 25 2004


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Eyeing the East and West Coasts

2:15 P.M. ET 12/25/2004


M. Ressler, Sr. Meteorologist, The Weather Channel





After dumping an unprecedented 1 to 12 inches of snow on the Texas Gulf Coast, the now Gulf storm may not be finished with its bag of tricks. Southern Louisiana has dealt with significant freezing rain and sleet with icing of all elevated surfaces including bridges and causeways. Heavy rain and thunderstorms will move across Florida tonight into Sunday. As the storm shifts northeastward to off the Southeast Coast Sunday, locally heavy rain will shift northward from southern Georgia into the eastern Carolinas. The western side of the rain shield could include freezing rain, sleet and snow. In fact, a 2-to-5-inch stripe of snow could accumulate from Augusta to Raleigh. Monday through Wednesday, the South will be dry. Thursday and Friday, a weak front will move out from the southern Plains into the lower Mississippi Valley with showers and maybe a rumble of thunder. Temperatures in Texas and the lower Mississippi Valley will be a balmy 5 to 20 degrees above average Tuesday through Friday while temperatures in the Southeast range from near average to 10 degrees above average from midweek on. This means 60s and 70s region-wide with low 80s over south Texas. Any snow over the South will be history in short over as this massive warm up crushes winter for the time being.



A disturbance moving from the Midwest into the Northeast Sunday will interact with an offshore storm heading from the Southeast toward the Canadian Maritimes. The disturbance will bring only light snow from a dusting to 2 inches to the interior Northeast Sunday. The coastal storm could be another matter. During the day Sunday, accumulating snow will be on a northward trek across southeastern Virginia, the Chesapeake Bay, Delaware and the southern half of New Jersey where in the worse case scenario 3 to 6 inches could fall. Washington and Baltimore will be on the back edge with only a dusting while Philadelphia and Allentown could pick up an inch. Late Sunday into Monday morning, the snow will continue northward through Long Island, eastern Connecticut, Rhode Island, eastern Massachusetts and coastal Maine. New York City could pick up several inches. Providence and Boston could receive a half foot. Cape Cod and the Islands could be the big winners. Stay tuned. Once the coastal storm is out of the way later Monday, much of the Northeast will be dry through Thursday with just a few snow showers from Upstate New York to interior northern New England. Temperatures will be above average from Wednesday on which means a range of 20s and 30s northern Maine to 60s southern Virginia by Friday.



A little light snow will ripple along the Canadian border from time to time while the remainder of the Midwest enjoys dry weather from Sunday through Wednesday. Thursday and Friday, a front will sweep showery rains eastward from the Plains to the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley with any snow again close to the Canadian border. Temperatures will be 10 to 25 degrees above average Monday through Friday Plains and the Mississippi Valley and rapidly coming above average Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. The snow will melt rapidly in the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes. High temperatures will range from the 30s north to the 60s in Kansas by midweek.



A strong storm will drop almost due south down the West Coast from Sunday through Tuesday and then into the Southwest midweek. The heavy precipitation will be from the Cascades and Sierra to the coast. The heavier rains and plummeting snow levels in western Washington and western Oregon will shift into northern California Sunday and then into central and Southern California Monday and Tuesday. After an extended dry spell, snow could again be measured in feet in the mountains and rain in inches at the lower elevations. Flash flooding and mudslides risks will likely return as well. Once this initial system exits eastward, the storm machine will continue keeping the whole western third of the nation wet from midweek into next weekend. Temperatures will be well above average east of the Rockies but gradually below average from the mountains westward.

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