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National Weather at 1245pm January 7 2005


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Day 1 of the latest Western wallop

12:45 P.M. ET 1/7/2005


Jonathan Erdman, Sr. Meteorologist, The Weather Channel




The meteorological equivalent of déjà vu is setting in over the rain and snow-weary West Coast this weekend. A large area of low pressure will temporarily toss anchor a few hundred miles off the coast and send waves of disturbances taking particularly hard aim on the Southwest through Monday. One disturbance has come ashore today. Another one is poised to swing through later Saturday. The main storm system, bringing this event to a close, will plow inland on Monday. As was the case with the multi-day event centered around New Year’s Day, snowfall in the Sierra and San Gabriels of California will be measured in feet. Some snow will also fall at lower elevations, some of which are a little unaccustomed to snow. Following a 14 inch dumping from the previous storm, another foot or more of snow is possible in Reno and Carson City, Nev. Through Monday. Some snow has accumulated in the mountains surrounding Las Vegas, with flakes falling in the city. Flooding rainfall will also be a major concern in California. Rainfall totals from 3 to 6 inches should be common in Southern California, with higher totals along the foothills of the Southland mountains likely. Given saturated ground from the previous storm, and existing burn areas, mudslides are likely. Winds gusting over 60 mph at times will buffet the Sierra crest, San Gabriels, and strong wind gusts will persist over parts of the California’s Central Valley and San Francisco Bay Area through the evening. Some minimal cold air has been pulled westward over the Cascades, and may support some snow tonight and Saturday in the Seattle-Tacoma metro area.



Following this past week’s snow event, a quick-moving, sneaky storm system will glide through the Northeast late tonight through Saturday. With some cold air trapped in place, some precipitation may fall as sleet, freezing rain, or snow. Particularly in the danger zone for icing tonight will be the Upper Susquehanna Valley, Delaware Water Gap, and Hudson Valleys of northeast Pennsylvania, northwest New Jersey, and southern New York, respectively. A streak of light snow, from 1 to as much as 6 inches, may be laid down from western New York to southern New England, including Boston, Albany, and Hartford. While the onset of precipitation in New York City may be either snow or sleet, it is anticipated to change over quickly to a chilly rain Saturday. Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. will see only rain out of this system. Neither city has picked up its first inch of snowfall so far this season. This storm system will clear out by late Saturday, giving way to a slow warming trend into next week.



Once we lose a quick-moving weather system tonight and early Saturday, warming will be the word of the weekend in the South. Rain with some thunderstorms will spread from the Mid-South into the Tennessee Valley tonight. Rainfall amounts up to an inch can be expected as this band of rain slides east and falls apart over the southern Appalachians Saturday morning. The warmth that the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida have enjoyed this week will spread into the southern Plains and Lower Mississippi Valley through the weekend. Highs in the 70s will spread northward into Oklahoma by Sunday. Florida will enjoy temperatures in the 70s and 80s through the weekend.



In the wake of this past week’s expansive winter storm, a relatively tranquil period of weather is setting into the Midwest this weekend. Tonight, however, provides one minor exception. A swiftly-moving weather system may spread a stripe of light snow, sleet, or freezing rain from the mid-Mississippi Valley into the Ohio Valley. Locations such as St. Louis, Indianapolis, Columbus, and Cleveland may pick up a light accumulation of snow, sleet or ice through early Saturday. A pronounced warm-up is in store through early next week. Highs on Sunday will push into the 50s and 60s in the Ohio Valley. Freshly fallen snow should melt fairly quickly in Chicagoland and Detroit, as highs push into the 40s by early next week.

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