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Weather across the nation: 3/17/13

6:04 PM, Mar 17, 2013   |    comments
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A wet weather pattern developed from the Mid-Mississippi Valley through the Lower Ohio Valley and into the Mid-Atlantic on Sunday as a frontal boundary with waves of low pressure became nearly stationary from Missouri through North Carolina.

To the north of this disturbance, high pressure dipping in from Canada gripped the Midwest and Northeast and ushered a cold airmass southward into the region. This led to cold, well below normal daytime highs through the afternoon and allowed for areas of rain and a wintry mix of precipitation to develop across the Lower Ohio Valley and into the Central Appalachians.

Areas of wet snow and sleet with anticipated snow accumulations of 1 to 2 inches kept areas of eastern Missouri through southeastern Ohio under Winter Weather Advisories through the afternoon. A variety of Winter Weather Statements also continued for the Central Appalachians in anticipation of today and tomorrow's wintry precipitation, possible ice accumulation, and snow accumulation of up to 4 to 8 inches in higher elevations.

Meanwhile, a strong, late-season winter storm began to develop over the Northern Rockies on Sunday as a Pacific cold front met with a stationary front extending across the region. The low strengthened through the afternoon as it moved into the Northern High Plains and brought cool air and moisture eastward with it.

This led to areas of heavy snow showers across the Dakotas that quickly moved into Minnesota Sunday night into Monday. Snow accumulations of 4 to 6 inches were likely in North Dakota on Sunday. Snow in the region was accompanied by strong winds of 25 to 35 mph and gusts to around 50 mph and created potential blizzard conditions with lowered visibility.

As this system headed east, a cool upper level trough moved slowly eastward across the Northwest and allowed for scattered snow showers to persist in parts of the Northern Intermountain West and along the spine of the Central and Northern Rockies. Continued northwest flow over the Pacific Northwest kicked up more rain and mountain snow showers.

SUNDAY'S WEATHER EXTREMES:

HIGHEST TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F).........................91 Falfurrias, Texas

HIGHEST HEAT INDEX (DEGREES F)..........................91 Alice, Texas

LOWEST TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F)..........................-27 Crane Lake, Minn.

LOWEST WIND CHILL (DEGREES F)...........................-45 Mt. Washington, N.H.

HIGHEST WIND GUST (MPH).................................78 Mt. Washington, N.H.

HIGHEST PRECIPITATION (INCHES)..........................1.51 Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

ON THIS DATE....... A ban on the word "tornado" was lifted on this date in 1952 after nearly 66 years. The ban was started by the Army in 1886 (the Army handled forecasting at that time), when it was determined that the harm done by predicting a tornado would be greater than that done by the tornado itself. On this date in 1952, the new Severe Local Storm Warning Center issued its first "tornado watch."

The Associated Press

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