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National Weather at 645am January 15 2005


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A wintry Pacific Northwest

6:49 A.M. ET 1/15/2005


Tim Ballisty, Meteorologist, The Weather Channel





A ridge of high pressure aloft will keep most of the West dry and mild for a while. Southern California will receive a welcome break from the recent onslaught of storms. In the near future, storms will generally skip by the Pacific Northwest, moving into western Canada and then angling southward across the Midwest. Lingering cold air across the valleys of Washington and Oregon will combine with moist Pacific air aloft to produce sleet and freezing rain in some locations. The best chance for icing will be in the Willamette Valley and the Columbia Gorge today into Sunday. A winter storm is in effect for the cities of Portland, Troutdale, and the Dalles along the Columbia River. Meanwhile, significant amounts of snow will fall in the Cascades and mountain passes. A winter storm watch is in effect for eastern Washington, including Spokane, for heavy snow accumulations on Saturday night and Sunday. Winds will be gusty from Cut Bank to Livingston in Montana. A temperature inversion may mean some fog and chilly temperatures in cities like Boise and Salt Lake City next week.



Arctic chill has prevailed over the Upper Midwest during the past couple of days and it will remain quite cold right through the weekend. It will be mainly dry, but look for some heavy amounts of lake-effect snow continue today across parts of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan especially over the Keweenaw Peninsula. A series of disturbances will move across the Great Lakes region over the next few days. The first one will pass through later in the weekend and enhance lake-effect snow downwind of the Great lakes late Sunday night into Monday. High temperatures today will range from the single digits and teens below zero in the northern Plains and the upper Mississippi Valley to the 20s and 30s across the Ohio Valley. Flooding is still occurring along the rivers and streams from Illinois to Ohio but the waters will gradually recede as no significant precipitation is expected in the near future. Look for a warming trend across the Plains next week. An example of this warming can be shown by looking at the forecast high temperatures of the Twin Cities for today and next Tuesday. Today, the Twin Cities will struggle to reach just zero degrees today but by Tuesday highs will rise to near 30 degrees.



Although it has turned colder across the South, it will still be just a really nice day to go out and enjoy. There will be plenty of sunshine over most of the region and temperatures will generally reach the 50s and 60s across the majority of the region. The only problem area will be across the Florida peninsula where a front stationed along the southern tip of the state will be a focal point for some scattered showers. High temperatures on Saturday will range from the cool 40s over Arkansas and northern Mississippi to the 70s across southern Florida.



The rain is thankfully over and colder air has moved into the region reminding folks that this is the month of January after all. Today, precipitation will be confined to snow showers in the New York counties of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Erie, Oswego, Lewis, and Jefferson. Last night, locations around the Tug Hill Plateau and along Interstate 81 in Jefferson and Oswego counties received a quick dumping as a nice band of snow set up off of Lake Ontario. Overall, though, Saturday looks to be a rather pleasant mid-January day for the majority of the region. Partly cloudy skies will dominate overhead and temperatures will be seasonable. High temperatures will range from the teens in northern Maine to the 40s around the Chesapeake Bay.


We’ll have to keep a close eye on a quick moving but potent upper-level disturbance that will swing out of the Ohio Valley and into the northern Mid-Atlantic late Sunday night into the morning hours of Monday. Along with a decent snowfall for the Northeastern major metropolitan areas of the I-95 corridor, wind speeds will be around 20 to 40 mph out of the northwest. Blowing snow could be an additional problem

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