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National Weather at 240pm January 1 2005


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Western storminess continues

2:40 P.M. ET 1/1/2005


M. Ressler, Meteorologist, The Weather Channel




Another vigorous upper-level storm will edge gradually down the West Coast Sunday and Monday before heading eastward into the Four Corners' states Tuesday into early Wednesday. Arctic cold will linger over Montana with temperatures as much as 10 to 25 degrees below average and daytime temperatures lingering near zero along the Canadian border. Precipitation will be minimal over Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana Sunday through Wednesday. Showery and locally heavy rain will increase over California yet again Sunday and spread across the Desert Southwest Monday and Tuesday. Snow will remain locally heavy in the Sierra through Sunday possibly adding an additional 3 feet of accumulation to the higher elevations. The Sierra snow will taper off Monday and Tuesday. Rainfall later Sunday and Monday over Southern California, southern Nevada and Arizona should be less than what occurred this past Tuesday and Wednesday, but with the ground saturated renewed flooding is possible. Snow levels will lower across the Southwest. The storm will finally exit eastward into the Plains Wednesday, but an upper-level remnant will be left behind over California sparking more showers. By late week, a new storm will dive southward from western Canada into the Pacific Northwest, keeping the wet pattern going.



The storm bringing heavy snow to the northern Plains and snow, sleet and freezing rain to the Upper Midwest will exit into the Northeast later Sunday but leave a wavering front basically stalled across southern Missouri and along or just north of the Ohio River Monday into Wednesday. With cold air in place over the northern Plains (temperatures as much as 10 to 20 degrees below average) and spring-time warmth lingering across Missouri, Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky (temperatures 10 to 20 degrees above average), the front will become very active. As disturbances move out of the Southwest, the southern and central portions of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio plus all of Kentucky will be doused with heavy rain, possibly 4 or more inches in spots by Wednesday. In the colder air from eastern Nebraska to the southern Great Lakes, some icing could occur. Light snow will occur from South Dakota to northern Michigan. Despite the wintry aspects, the big story will probably become flooding either side of the Ohio River by midweek. The Midwest could be almost precipitation free for a day on Thursday, but showers may already return to the Ohio Valley Friday as the overall upper-level weather pattern changes little.



Behind the front, colder air is trying to crimp the very premature spring glimpse in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Chilly Canadian high pressure is racing southward into the region. On Sunday, ahead of the next front, milder air and moisture will quickly attempt to return to the region. As a result, freezing rain will change to rain across northern Pennsylvania and western New York while eastern Upstate New York and western New England goes through the changes from snow to sleet to freezing rain as Sunday unfolds. As the front stalls just south of the Mason-Dixon Line Monday, showers could linger in the Mid-Atlantic while the remainder of the region gets a break. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the stalled front will become a focus for rain with a wintry mix across Upstate New York and parts of New England. The rains could be heavy in the northern Mid-Atlantic midweek.



The South will remain warm region-wide through Tuesday with temperatures 10 to 25 degrees above average and highs reaching well into the 60s and 70s in most locations. Showers will dampen the area from the Tennessee and lower Mississippi Valleys westward into the southern Plains while the Southeast remains mostly rain-free. Wednesday and Thursday, a cold front will gradually track eastward across the South. Behind the front, daytime temperatures will ease back toward average. Midweek, rainfall could be heavy across eastern Oklahoma, northern Texas, Arkansas and Tennessee.

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