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Blizzard in N. Plains; Severe threat in S. Plains


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Blizzard conditions, severe thunderstorm threat continue

2:10 P.M. ET 1/12/2005


B. Bernard, Meteorologist, The Weather Channel



Everything from blizzard conditions to severe thunderstorms will make for rough weather this afternoon and evening from the Plains and Midwest to the South. A fresh outbreak of arctic air bulling its way into the country has prompted a wide area of blizzard and winter storm warnings from the Bitterroots eastward across Montana and North Dakota into northwest Minnesota, and farther south, over western South Dakota and northeast Wyoming. Winter storm warnings are also posted for the Washington Cascades where a foot or foot-and-a-half of snow may fall today.


Meanwhile, a developing storm center on the southern Plains is expected to launch some severe thunderstorms later today along a Pacific cold front. The area at risk for storms packing large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes extends from southern Missouri to eastern Texas. The storms, congealing into a squall line, are expected to slice eastward toward the Mississippi Valley overnight. Heavy downpours are also expected to develop tonight, with the axis of heaviest rain (maybe 2 or 3 inches in some locations) expected to reach from Illinois to Louisiana.


Elsewhere, freezing rain, sleet and snow continue plague areas in northeastern New York, parts of Massachusetts and northern New England this afternoon. The overall trend, however, is for the precipitation to change to rain in New York and Massachusetts, while farther north, ice and snow may hang on in much of northern New England into the evening. Spotty ice and snow are also greasing roads from northeastern Kansas northeastward into Minnesota and northern Wisconsin.

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