The nation's weather

AP News
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Posted: Dec 08, 2009 5:30 AM

Wet and wintry weather was expected across the Central U.S. on Tuesday as a low pressure system continued to track over the Central Rockies and into the Plains.

The system was forecast to intensify over the mountains and spread much precipitation from the Great Basin to the Four Corners. Between 3 and 5 inches of snow was forecast in Colorado, while Nevada was expected to see diminishing snowfall with totals of less than 2 inches.

A winter storm warning stretched from the Southern Rockies into the Northern Plains as flow around the system was expected to create a trough axis extending east. This could allow for cool conditions with sufficient atmospheric moisture to trigger snow over the region. Three to 5 inches of snow was expected over the Central Plains, while 1 to 3 inches could reach into the Upper Great Lakes region.

Strong winds were expected to accompany the storm with gusts of up to 25 mph. A blizzard warning covered most of western Colorado, where winds could reach 45 mph.

Behind the system, extremely cold air was expected to pour into the Pacific Northwest and California. Frost and freeze warnings covered the West Coast with temperatures expected to drop below freezing in many areas. Daytime highs were expected to remain in the 40s and 50s.

In the East, the storm could stretch over the Mississippi River and start to track up the Ohio River Valley. This could allow for overcast skies and cool conditions, but little to no snow accumulation was expected. New England could see increasingly cloudy skies with snow most likely holding off until Wednesday. Highs were expected to remain in the 30s and 40s.

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To the South, a front was expected to linger over the Gulf states and continue pulling moisture northward from the Gulf of Mexico. The system was forecast to trigger another day of scattered showers and thunderstorms. High temperatures were expected to stay in the 60s and 70s.

On Monday, temperatures in the Lower 48 states ranged from a low of -28 degrees at Daniel, Wyo. to a high of 84 degrees at West Kendall, Fla.