The nation's weather

AP News
Posted: Jan 05, 2010 4:54 AM

The Pacific Northwest was expected to see rain and snow on Tuesday, while mild weather was anticipated in the rest of the U.S.

A low pressure system spinning off the West Coast was forecast to create a cold front that would move east through the region. The system was expected to push ample moisture onshore and kick-up scattered rain showers with snow at higher elevations of the Cascades and Northern Rocky Mountains.

Between 3 and 5 inches of snow was expected in Montana and Wyoming, while Washington and Oregon could see between 1 and 2 inches with light rain at lower elevations.

While only light and scattered precipitation may extend into California, cold conditions were anticipated through the Sierra Nevadas. Overnight lows were expected to drop below freezing and daytime highs were expected to remain in the 50s.

In the East, a strong and large low pressure system was forecast to hover just off the East Coast and over the Northeast. Cool air was expected to continue pouring in from Canada and pick up moisture from the Great Lakes, allowing for another day of lake-effect snow over the eastern shores of the Eastern Great Lakes. Up to 2 inches of snow was expected.

Light snowfall also was forecast to extend down a trough axis that could linger over the Ohio River Valley. Between 1 and 2 inches of snow was expected.

High pressure was forecast to build over the Central U.S. and extend into the Southeast. Cool and sunny conditions were expected over the areas. Temperatures in the Northern Plains were expected in the single digits, while the Gulf states could see highs in the mid 30s.

On Monday, temperatures in the Lower 48 states ranged from a low of minus 38 degrees at International Falls, Minn., to a high of 77 degrees at Williams Gateway Airport, Ariz.