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National Weather at 210pm January 4 2005


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Major winter storm developing for Midwest, Plains

2:11 P.M. ET 1/4/2005


Senior Meteorologist, The Weather Channel





A major winter storm will sock the Midwest and Plains tonight and tomorrow with an impressive panoply of snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain. A swath of heavy snow will reach from eastern Nebraska to extreme southern Michigan, while just to the south, a band of significant icing (sleet and freezing rain) will encrust roads and power lines from northeast Missouri to northern Ohio. Get ready for lots of bent cars and cold, dark homes. Even farther south, downpours of rain will inundate other parts of the Midwest from central and southern Missouri to central Ohio, including St. Louis, Indianapolis and Dayton. Flood watches already are in place. Farther west, wintry precipitation will hover over the southern and central Plains where much of Kansas (including Kansas City, Mo.), particularly through tonight, could see significant amounts of sleet and freezing rain. Meanwhile, bitter cold will continue to grip the northern Plains and Upper Midwest where "maximum temperatures" will be an oxymoron.



A band of significant snowfall will lance out across the southern tier of New York state tomorrow, while a wintry amalgam of snow, sleet and freezing rain assaults northern Pennsylvania. Flights of sleet are likely to reach as far east as northern New Jersey and Long Island, while light snow begins sifting down over southern New England. Across West Virginia, southern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and northern Virginia, rain and showers will prevail, heavy in southern Pennsylvania. High temperatures, meanwhile, are expected to range from the teens in Upstate New York and far northern New England to the 60s across southern Virginia.



A burst of colder air will kick down doors in Oklahoma and northern Texas tomorrow, but the rest of the South will remain unseasonably warm. Showers will dampen a good chunk of eastern Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and maybe western Tennessee, but not the remainder of the region. As the colder air sweeps into The Sooner State, there could be a brief period of freezing rain and sleet to augment the showers. Overall, highs tomorrow will range from the 30s in the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma (maybe the upper 20s in the Oklahoma Panhandle) to the low 80s in far south Texas and parts of Florida. The 70s will be widespread through the Deep South.



Precipitation in the West will be limited tomorrow. A few rain and mountain snow showers will threaten northern and central California, while scattered snow showers flit over the Intermountain West. The most numerous snow showers will linger over the Colorado Rockies. Temperatures will continue on the chilly side, ranging from near zero in northeast Montana to the low 60s in the lower Colorado River Valley along the California-Arizona border.

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