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U.S.: Persistent heat in California, heavier snow possible downwind of Lake Michigan

Christian Fernsby |
Following the passage of a strong cold front, a strengthening upper-level jet streak over the Northeast has led to an area of light-to-moderate snow that extends from the central Appalachians to the Northeast this morning.

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Topics: U.S.   

With temperatures starting near or above freezing, most locations will initially experience snow only accumulating to grassy and elevated surfaces.

However, areas slightly higher in elevation northwest of the I-95 corridor will have the greatest potential for slick roadways into the late morning hours.

Snowfall totals are generally expected to remain under 4 inches, with locally higher totals possible in the Shenandoah region of Virginia.

As an area of low pressure begins to strengthen off the East Coast today, it will slowly draw the band of snow eastward and eventually exit the region early Sunday night.

Portions of southern New England, more specifically Cape Cod and eastern Massachusetts, could see snow linger into Sunday night.

This will also allow for slightly higher snowfall amounts and the potential for totals to near 6 inches.

Elsewhere, a few weak and moisture-starved areas of low pressure are forecast to swing across the Midwest over the next couple of days.

The first system is set to move from the Central Plains into the Mid-Mississippi Valley today, with a swath of light snow possible to the north from central Illinois to southern Indiana.

The next area of low pressure is expected to enter North Dakota by tonight and spread light snow throughout the Upper Midwest into early Monday.

Snowfall totals from these two systems are anticipated to remain under 2 inches, with the greatest amounts most likely found throughout northern Minnesota and northeast North Dakota.

Simultaneously, continues cold air advection over the Great Lakes will lead to scattered lake effect snow showers over the region.

Locally heavier snow is possible downwind of Lake Michigan, with amounts potentially exceeding 4 inches throughout far southwest Michigan.

The frigid airmass located over the Upper Midwest/Great Lakes this morning is expected to moderate by Monday, while below average temperatures expand across much of the eastern United States through the beginning of the week.

Wind Chill Advisories remain in effect across parts of the Dakotas and northern Minnesota, where wind chills could drop as low as 30 below zero.

Farther west, an early taste of spring continues for much of California as highs soar into the 70s and 80s.

High temperatures into the low 90s are possible for southern California, which has prompted Heat Advisories to remain in effect.

These warm temperatures will also have the potential to break several daily record highs.

Additionally, the combination of low relative humidity and gusty winds may also lead to elevated fire weather in this region.

The persistent upper-level ridge responsible for the record-breaking warmth is finally forecast to break down on Valentine's Day as a strong storm system enters the Pacific Northwest.

Coastal/lower elevation rain showers and mountain snow is likely to spread over the Northwest, Northern Great Basin, and Northern Rockies through Tuesday.

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