Fierce storms cut swath across America's Heartland

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by Associated Press

WHAS11.com

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 7:14 PM

   (Associated Press)  -- A strong storm system in the central U.S. moved northeastward through the Upper Midwest toward the Upper Great Lakes today, bringing heavy snow to areas from the Upper Mississippi Valley through the Northern Appalachians and into parts of the southern Northeast.
   In addition to snow, swaths of freezing rain and sleet with ice accumulations were possible from central Wisconsin through the northern mid-Atlantic and southern New England states.
   Meanwhile, winds across the Upper Midwest picked up during the afternoon as this system deepened. This led to periods of blowing snow and reduced visibility. A blizzard warning remained in effect for north-central South Dakota, while a variety of winter weather advisories and winter storm warnings remained in effect for areas from the eastern Northern Plains into the Upper Great Lakes and throughout the Northeast.
   To the south, moisture from the Gulf of Mexico interacted with the associated cold front extending from the Ohio Valley through the Southern Plains and produced rain and thunderstorms ahead of the boundary.
   Much of Tennessee and adjacent southern Kentucky, southwest Virginia, western North Carolina, Northern Georgia, Northern Alabama, and Northern Mississippi were at moderate risk for severe weather activity with damaging wind gusts, hail, and possible tornadoes. Areas surrounding the moderate risk area, across the Ohio Valley southward into parts of the Lower Mississippi Valley and northern Gulf States, eastward into the southern Mid-Atlantic coastal areas, remained at slight risk for severe thunderstorm development.
   Out West, a trough of low pressure moved across the West Coast with a strong frontal boundary and significant moisture from the Pacific. Immense onshore flow fueled rain and heavy mountain snow across parts of the Pacific Northwest and northern California.
   More moderate precipitation spread into central California, northern Nevada, northern Utah, and Idaho as the front pushed inland across the West.
   WEDNESDAY'S WEATHER EXTREMES:

  •    HIGHEST TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F).........................88 McAllen, Texas.
  •    HIGHEST HEAT INDEX (DEGREES F)..........................90 McAllen, Texas.
  •    LOWEST TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F)..........................-11 Pinedale, Wyo.
  •    LOWEST WIND CHILL (DEGREES F)...........................-73 Deadhorse, Alaska.
  •    HIGHEST WIND GUST (MPH).................................61 Raton, N.M.
  •    HIGHEST PRECIPITATION (INCHES)..........................1.32 Bowling Green, Ky.

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