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National Weather at 205pm January 11 2005


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Arctic invasion set for northern U. S.

2:08 P.M. ET 1/11/2005


Sr. Meteorologist, The Weather Channel





Blizzard warnings and watches and winter storm watches for tomorrow are posted for most of Montana, the state that will take the initial charge of a bitterly cold arctic air mass bound for the northern U. S. Temperatures in the Treasure State will tumble sharply tomorrow as fierce winds drive the frigid air southward. Any blizzard conditions are likely to result more from blowing snow than falling snow, but whatever the cause, visibilities will be reduced significantly at times. Accumulating snow is most likely over western Montana and the Bitterroots. Farther west, snow and gusty winds will sweep over the Washington and northern Oregon Cascades, too. West of the Cascades, rain and snow showers will prevail with snow levels very low and dropping. In fact, around the Puget Sound, accumulating snow is likely by late tomorrow or tomorrow evening. Elsewhere in West, only areas of light snow are likely in the Rockies. Meanwhile, the prolonged rainy spell in Southern California will be but a muddy memory.



A Pacific cold front moving eastward, and warm, moist air flowing out of the Gulf of Mexico ahead of the front, will trigger showers in much of the lower Midwest and Great Lakes tomorrow. Not only showers, but in Missouri, severe thunderstorms, too. To the rear of the front, areas of wintry precipitation are possible from Nebraska (and maybe eastern South Dakota) into the Upper Midwest. Freezing rain would appear to be a good bet for much of Iowa, with sleet and snow elsewhere, but probably not a whole lot. High temperatures are expected to range from the single digits in northern North Dakota to the 60s in the Ohio Valley, Kentucky and southern Missouri.



A warm front struggling northward through the Northeast tomorrow will generate wintry precipitation—snow, sleet and freezing rain—from eastern New York into New England, although the trend will be for the precipitation to change to rain in New York and central and southern New England as the day goes on. Deeper in the milder air (farther south), dry weather is expected to prevail over southern New Jersey, the DelMarVa Peninsula and Virginia. High temperatures are forecast to range from the teens in northern Maine (well north of the front) to the low 70s in southeast Virginia (south of the front).



Although somewhat cooler edge will nudge into West Texas tomorrow, most of the South will continue to be unseasonably warm with highs in the 60s and 70s and even low 80s in parts of south Texas and Florida. Isolated showers may pop up in the Deep South, but more concentrated showers and thunderstorms are expected over eastern Oklahoma, eastern Texas, Arkansas, and by evening, Louisiana as a Pacific cold front presses eastward. Some of the thunderstorms could turn severe, and the possibility of a tornado or two can’t be ruled out, either.

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