Wednesday, March 10, 2010

US Weather: Rain-Snow Mix Stretches From Coast To Coast

Another snowy day is expected over the central part of the country Wednesday as two low pressure systems were forecast to combine over the Plains.

A system that brought snow and rain to the Northern and Central High Plains would slowly move toward the Great Lakes. At the same time, another low pressure system was expected to move from the Central Rockies and into the Southern Plains. Thus, a large area of low pressure would develop over the Plains and flow around this system would create two interesting frontal boundaries.

A stationary front was forecast to extend from the Mid-Mississippi River Valley and up the Ohio River Valley, into New England. Warm air moving in from the south was expected to allow for light rain to develop along this front, with rainfall totals between a tenth and a quarter of an inch. Mild thunderstorms may develop along this front, which would allow for up to an inch of rain, forecasters said.

To the south, a cold front was forecast to track from the Southern Plains and over the Lower Mississippi River Valley, into the Southeast. Due to ample moisture from the Gulf of Mexico feeding strength into this system, scattered showers and thunderstorms were expected to develop over the Gulf states. Less than half of an inch of rain was expected in most areas, with up to an inch in areas of thunderstorm development. Highs were to reach into the 70s over the Southeast on Wednesday.

The Northern and Central Plains were expected to continue seeing highs near freezing, thus, snow would develop as the low hovers over the region. The Dakotas were expected to see between 2-4 inches of new snow, while Nebraska may see 1-2 inches.

In the West, a low pressure system spinning in the Pacific Ocean was forecast to push more moisture over the West Coast. The front would slightly weaken as it moved onshore, but would kick up light showers with snow at higher elevations of the Sierras and Cascades. Light low-level rain showers were expected with 2-5 inches of snow over higher elevations of Oregon, Washington, and northern California.

Temperatures in the Lower 48 states Tuesday ranged from a low of 5 degrees at Mt. Washington, N.H. to a high of 87 degrees at Kingsville Naval Air Station in Texas.

National Weather Service

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