The Eastern US remains quiet on Friday, while rain and snow persists in the West and showers and thunderstorms move into the Southern Plains. A ridge of high pressure continues building over the Mississippi River Valley to the Eastern Seaboard. This will allow for a warming trend to persist, as the ridge pushes moisture away and creates sunny skies. Expect highs to vary in the 50s and 60s across most of the Northeast and Ohio River Valley, about 5 to 10 degrees warmer than seasonable.
In the West, a low pressure system and associated cold front that brought rain and light snow to the Sierras will take an eastward turn over the Southern Rockies. In the afternoon and evening hours, this system will reach into the Southern Plains, triggering scattered showers and thunderstorms. Some of these storms may turn severe over Oklahoma and northern Texas, which will be capable of producing periods of heavy rain, damaging winds, and possibly some hail.
To the north, a trough of low pressure advances eastward from the Pacific Northwest, bringing heavy snow to the Intermountain West and Northern Rockies. Expect snow showers to slowly diminish for the Pacific Northwest, while Idaho and Montana will see 8 to 12 inches of snow. Strong winds will also accompany the system with gusts from 30 to 45 mph, up to 60 mph at highest mountain peaks. Thus, winter weather and high wind advisories have been issued across the region. Please take caution on the roads and traveling over high mountain passes. Temperatures in the Lower 48 states Thursday ranged from a morning low of 5 degrees at Clayton Lake, Maine, to a high of 81 degrees at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.