The nation's weather

AP News
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Posted: Mar 18, 2011 6:34 AM
The nation's weather

The West gets pounded again with heavy snow and low elevation rain, while the rest of the country will see mild weather Friday as it heads into the weekend.

A low pressure system spinning off the West Coast will advance eastward, while a cold front associated with the system will help pull it onshore. As this system moves over the Pacific Northwest and northern California, it will trigger heavy rain showers. Snow levels will remain near 3,000 feet along the Coastal Range in California, and near 1,500 feet along the Coastal Range in Oregon. Meanwhile, the Sierra Nevadas will see heavy snow showers increasing Friday afternoon and evening. Snowfall rates may reach up to 2 inches an hour Friday afternoon, with total accumulation ranging from 6 to 12 inches from the valley floors to the peaks. Caution is urged when driving over high mountain passes Friday afternoon and evening.

Meanwhile, in the East, a ridge of high pressure builds from the Plains, over the Mississippi River, and into the East Coast. This will allow for more warm air to build in from Mexico, which may bring more record breaking high temperatures. A low pressure system continues moving eastward along the U.S. and Canadian border, bringing rain and snow showers to the Great Lakes and into the extreme Northeast.

Temperatures in the Lower 48 states Thursday ranged from a morning low of 10 degrees at Truckee, Calif., to a high of 92 degrees at Pecos, Texas.

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Online:

Weather Underground: http://www.wunderground.com

National Weather Service: http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov

Intellicast: http://www.intellicast.com