A strong low pressure system was pushing rain and snow into the Pacific Northwest early Saturday, while calm and unseasonably warm weather was on tap for most of the rest of the nation.
The storm system was forecast to bring locally heavy snow to the northern Rockies and northern Sierra. Most areas were expected to get at least 6 inches of snow, with up to a foot in isolated spots.
Low visibility was likely in the area as snow is blown by gusty winds. Gusts exceeding 60 mph were possible in parts of Montana and Wyoming.
Light snow was expected in the mountains of the Northwest.
Rain was forecast for lower elevations of the Northwest, with the possibility of some snow mixing in, leading to an inch or more of accumulations in some locations.
Light snow showers were possible in northern New England, with up to 2 inches of accumulations in higher elevations. A few light flurries or sprinkles were forecast for the upper Midwest and northern Plains.
Rain showers were expected in parts of the Florida Peninsula early in the day.
High pressure was forecast to bring calm, mild weather to the Southwest, most of the nation's midsection and most of the East north of Florida.
Highs on Saturday were forecast in the teens and 20s in the northernmost Plains along the Canadian border; 30s in northern New England, the northern Great Lakes and Pacific Northwest; 40s in the northern and central Rockies, Great Basin, most of the Great Lakes and southern New England; 50s in the mid-Atlantic, Ohio Valley, most of the Deep South, northern California and parts of the northern Plains; 60s in the central and southern Plains and in southern California, Texas and the lower Mississippi Valley; and 70s in the Desert Southwest and Florida, with some 80s in southern Florida.
Temperatures in the Lower 48 states on Friday ranged from a high of 86 degrees in Titusville, Fla., to a low of 17 below in Gunnison, Colo.
On the Net:
National Weather Service: http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov
University of Michigan site: http://cirrus.sprl.umich.edu/wxnet
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