The nation's weather

AP News
Posted: May 17, 2011 6:41 AM
The nation's weather

The weather across the nation Tuesday will be similar to that on Monday, due to a strong blocking pattern.

A low pressure system dominates both coasts, while a ridge of high pressure builds over the Plains.

Starting in the East, a low pressure system over the Southeast slowly moves up the East Coast and into New England. Flow around this system will continue pushing moisture onshore, allowing for widespread scattered showers to develop from the Ohio River Valley, the Mid-Atlantic states and into the Northeast. This storm has lost most of its energy, thus, severe storm development is not likely. A few scattered thunderstorms may pop up around the region. Rainfall totals will range around an inch, with up to 2 inches likely in areas of thunderstorm development.

In the West, another low pressure system spinning offshore finally advances eastward and onshore. This system will push a cold front over northern California and into the Intermountain West. As this system continues pulling cooler air in from the north, snow showers are likely at higher elevations. Across the Northern Sierras, expect 2 to 3 inches of new snow, up to 5 inches above 7,000 feet, while Utah and Idaho will see a combination of light rain and snow showers.

In between these two systems, a ridge of high pressure dominates the Central U.S., bringing warm and dry conditions to the Plains. Flow around this system will push moisture away and allow for low humidity. In addition to the anticipated strong winds with gusts between 15 and 25 mph, rapid fire spread is expected in many areas. Thus, fire advisories have been issued across the Southern Plains and Southwest, as well as parts of the Northern Plains.

Temperatures in the Lower 48 states Monday ranged from a morning low of 18 degrees at South Lake Tahoe, Calif., to a high of 92 degrees at Pecos, Texas.