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Friday, November 26, 2010

Big Mess of Weather heads for central U.S.A.

'Big mess' of weather heads for central USA

Brandon Hurt shovels snow from the roof of a shop Tuesday at the Lake Tahoe ski resort Squaw Valley USA in California.

The vicious storm that hammered the Northwest and Rockies with blizzard conditions Tuesday will move into the central USA today. Snow, ice, rain and wind are expected to wreak travel havoc across the upper Midwest, while the central Mississippi Valley and central Plains could see severe storms, including tornadoes.

"We're expecting a big mess today over the middle of the country," says Weather Channel meteorologist Mark Ressler. Both air and road travel will be affected, he says, with airport delays likely in Minneapolis, St. Louis, Chicago andKansas City, Mo.

The worst of the wintry weather should be in the northern Plains. "Wednesday will be a brutal day across the Dakotas, especially North Dakota," Ressler says.

Freezing rain and sleet are also possible from Nebraska to Wisconsin.

To the south, where the air is warmer, heavy rain and thunderstorms are forecast. The Storm Prediction Center has posted a risk for severe thunderstorms today; high winds, hail and tornadoes are all possible in portions of Oklahoma,Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri.

As the storm moves into the central USA, the worst of the weather in the West will start to wind down, reports Ressler. By the time the snow eases later today in the Sierra, Cascades and northern Rockies, most spots will have picked up anywhere from 1 to 3 feet of snow.

The East and South should be mostly dry today, but strong winds in the Northeast could lead to airport delays in Boston and New York City, says Ressler, while low clouds might affect the Southeast, including the world's busiest airport, Atlanta.

For Thanksgiving and Black Friday, the worst of the wintry weather will be over, reports Ressler, with only some light snow expected in the Pacific Northwest and along the Canadian border in the northern Plains, Great Lakes, and northern New England. However, rain will make for a lousy Thanksgiving Day in a corridor from western New York, through the Ohio Valley and into the Lower Mississippi Valley and Texas.

Rain and snow showers with temperatures in the mid-40s are forecast Thursday in New York City for the 84th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, according to the National Weather Service.

East Coast shoppers seeking bargains on Black Friday will dodge raindrops from Maine to Florida, especially in the morning.


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