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Weather across the nation: 3/23/13

5:28 PM, Mar 23, 2013   |    comments
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Heavy snow spread across Colorado and Kansas on Saturday, while severe showers and thunderstorms developed over the Southeast.

A winter storm strengthened as it moved off the Central Rockies and into the Central Plains. This pulled cool air in from the north, which allowed for heavy snow showers to develop across the Central High Plains.

Snowfall accumulation ranged from 4 to 6 inches across western Kansas and Nebraska, with some areas seeing over 7 inches of new snow. The airport at Denver reported a midday total of 7.5 inches of snow, while Yuma, Colo., reported a midday total of 14.0 inches.

 Winter weather advisories remained in effect from Colorado through the Mid-Mississippi River Valley as this system created dangerous roads and travel conditions.

At the same time, flow around the southern side of this system pulled warm and moist air into the Southeast from the Gulf of Mexico. This created a frontal boundary that stretched from eastern Texas through Florida, and allowed for widespread showers and thunderstorms to develop from the Southern Plains through the Carolinas.

Some of these storms turned severe with strong winds, large hail, and periods of heavy rainfall. Golf ball size hail was reported in Ray City, Alma, and Adel, Ga., and ping pong size hail was reported at Crowley, Texas. Heaviest rainfall was reported in Columbus, Miss., with a midday total of 2.01 inches.

Elsewhere across the nation, a few scattered snow showers persisted over the Northern Plains, Northern Rockies, and Great Basin, scattered rain showers approached the coast of the Pacific Northwest, and a few light snow showers lingered over the Northeast.

SATURDAY'S WEATHER EXTREMES:

HIGHEST TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F).........................94 Zapata, Texas

HIGHEST HEAT INDEX (DEGREES F)..........................94 Vero Beach, Fla.

LOWEST TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F)..........................-18 Yellowstone, Wyo.

LOWEST WIND CHILL (DEGREES F)...........................-57 Barrow, Alaska

HIGHEST WIND GUST (MPH).................................121 Colorado Springs, Colo.

HIGHEST PRECIPITATION (INCHES)..........................2.01 Columbus AFB, Miss.

ON THIS DATE....... On this date in 1913, a strong tornado swept through Omaha, Neb., causing $3.5 million damage and nearly 100 fatalities. Striking on Easter Sunday, the system moved through the city and cut a five mile long path.

The Associated Press

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