The nation's weather

AP News
Posted: Dec 24, 2011 5:54 AM
The nation's weather

Weather Underground Forecast for Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011.

Scattered showers and thunderstorms were expected to develop across the South on Saturday, as a low pressure system continued moving eastward over Texas. The low pressure system that brought heavy snow to New Mexico and light snow to western Texas was expected to continue moving eastward toward the Gulf of Mexico and Lower Mississippi River Valley. This system was expected to pull warm and moist air in from the Gulf of Mexico, allowing for snow showers to turn to rain showers. Periods of heavy rain showers were expected to develop across most of Texas on Saturday, with lighter showers extending into the Lower Mississippi River Valley. There remained a slight risk severe thunderstorms would develop from eastern Texas through Louisiana and into Mississippi. Most areas were expected to see around one inch of rain, with up to two inches likely in areas of thunderstorm development. Strong winds with gusts from 25 to 35 mph also were expected.

Behind this system, cold air was expected to continue to pour into the Western U.S. from Canada. A dominant ridge continued building over the Rocky Mountains, allowing for dry and sunny conditions. High temperatures in the 20s and 30s were expected across the Rockies, while the West Coast remained in the 50s and 60s.

Meanwhile, in the Northeast, a cold front lingered over the Northeast and draped westward through the Great Lakes. This was expected to continue triggering widespread and light snow showers with accumulation around one inch. However, lake effect snow was likely in parts of the Upper Great Lakes, which may see up to three inches of new snow. Temperatures in the Lower 48 states Friday ranged from a morning low of -22 degrees at West Yellowstone, Mont. to a high of 86 degrees at Plant City, Fla.