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National Weather at 215pm December 30 2004


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Stormy West, Spring-like South and East

2:15 P.M. ET 12/30/2004


M. Ressler, Meteorologist, The Weather Channel




A new potent disturbance will continue the parade of storms into California Friday. With snow levels down between 2000 and 2500 feet, the peaks of the northern coastal range can expect an additional foot or more of snow and the highest elevations in the Sierra may have storm totals in the 4-to-7-foot range by early Saturday. Strong winds are producing low visibility and huge drifts in the mountains, resulting in occasional road and interstate closures so check local reports before heading out. The Intermountain West is also getting its share of the action. Snow is becoming heavy from northern and central Nevada into the mountains of southeast Idaho and Utah. The highest elevations of the Wasatch could pick up 3 feet of new snow by the start of the weekend. Meanwhile, arctic air is spilling southward into Montana. Showery coastal rain and snow for the Cascades and interior will keep the Northwest unsettled as well Friday and Saturday. By Monday, the final potent upper-level disturbance in this series will be moving through the Southwest allowing the weather to quiet down across Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. On Tuesday, snow showers will linger in Wyoming and the Four Corners' states as the upper-level disturbance feeds into a developing storm in the central states. Wednesday could be quiet region-wide, but a new system may already begin to return showers to parts of northern and central California.



Colder air will try to take control of the northern half of the Plains, the upper and north-central Mississippi Valley and the Upper Midwest Friday while high temperatures remain 20 to 30 degrees above average from Kansas to the Ohio Valley as the spring preview continues. Showers from the first system will exit the eastern Ohio Valley Friday and some light snow and flurries will hug the Canadian border. After the Friday break, a new storm, the second in the series, will move across the region over the weekend. Snow and wintry mix will develop over the colder air from the Dakotas and Nebraska to northern Michigan and showery rains sweep from the eastern Plains to Lower Michigan and the Ohio Valley. Then, later Monday through Wednesday, a third storm will sweep out of the West across the region. Temperatures will range from between 10 and 15 degrees below average in parts of the Dakotas (single digits and teens) to as much as 10 to 30 degrees above average in Missouri and the Ohio Valley (50s and 60s).



The Midwest system will bring showery rain to Upstate New York, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia on Friday with freezing rain and sleet (at least to start) for the colder sections of interior and northern New England. Temperatures will be 10 to 20 degrees above average Friday (30s northern Maine to 60s in Virginia). New Year's Day will be mainly dry, but a strong Canadian high will attempt to bring colder air southward over the region as the cold front sinks as far south as Virginia. The next storm system will arrive Sunday. Warm air will stream northward over the colder air. Northern Pennsylvania, the Lehigh Valley and north Jersey could see some freezing rain and sleet to start before a changeover to rain. Upstate New York may have a burst of accumulating snow before the transitions to sleet, freezing rain and rain occur. Interior southern New England and northern New England may also see some mixed precipitation late Sunday into Monday. Yet another storm will bring more rain and far northern frozen to the Northeast Tuesday into Thursday.



Fronts will stay north of the Southeast and Tennessee Valley through Tuesday but make increasing inroads into the southern Plains and western lower Mississippi Valley. These areas from the Tennessee and Mississippi Valley westward will see increasing bouts of showers as each storm comes out of the West. Temperatures will be 10 to 20 degrees above average across most of the South right through this coming Wednesday, which means plenty of 60s and 70s (even 80s in south Texas).

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