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National Weather at 1110am December 31 2004


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West remains active, Eastern warmth continues

11:10 A.M. ET 12/31/2004


Chris Dolce, Meteorologist, The Weather Channel




Snow and rain continue to be the number one story as a series of storms allow for more messy weather and possible travel problems. As the next system pushes east rain will return to Southern California but will not pack as much punch as the storm earlier this week. More significant snowfall will be found in the Sierras, coastal ranges of Northern California and the Cascades of Oregon. Portions of the Intermountain West have winter storm and heavy snow warnings posted for areas such as central and northern Nevada, and the Wasatch. Southern California will also get in on the snow where winter storm warnings are posted for the mountains of L.A. and Ventura counties. Temperatures will be near seasonal averages for much of the west except in Montana where high temperatures will be 10 to 26 degrees below average.



Interior portions of the region such as Upstate New York and western Pennsylvania have seen some showery rain today as a low pressure system advances eastward. Milder air is invading northern New England with a little freezing rain hanging on in northern New Hampshire, soon to change to rain. In northern and central Maine, snow will change to sleet and freezing rain and finally to rain by evening as temperatures rise above freezing. Temperatures are warming today with highs peaking from the 30s and 40s in Maine to the 60s in Virginia.



Record highs were common for many locations on Thursday. Minneapolis topped out at 51 degrees which is 28 degrees above average. Similar examples of this warmth were found across much of the region. Temperatures will be colder on Friday for areas such as North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota as a cold front pushes southward. The rest of the region including the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley will continue to see highs reaching levels that are well above average. A few rain showers linger in Kentucky while snow showers are possible near the Canadian border. With colder air moving into place from Nebraska, Iowa, northern Illinois and Michigan to the Canadian border, a new storm taking shape on Saturday will produce a zone of accumulating snow from North Dakota to Upper Michigan and freezing rain and sleet from eastern Nebraska to northwest Illinois and southern Wisconsin.



Dry conditions will rule the entire region today, but expect showers to break out on Saturday in the lower Mississippi Valley. Mostly cloudy skies will be found in places such as Atlanta, Memphis and Dallas on this New Year's Eve. While partly cloudy conditions will be found in the Carolinas and Florida. Temperatures will be very warm on this last day of 2004 with highs in the 60s and 70s for much of the region with the exception of south Texas which will warm into the 80s. Expect the warm weather to continue into the New Year with highs reaching 10 to 20 degrees above average.

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