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The nation's weather
The nation's weather
By The Associated Press

Weather Underground Forecast for Saturday, March 17, 2012.

Wet and snowy conditions over the West Coast were expected to advance southeastward into the Southwest on Saturday, while record-breaking high temperatures persisted for the Central United States.

A trough of low pressure was to move southeastward from California and the Pacific Northwest, dropping into Arizona. That was expected to create heavy rain showers with high elevation snow showers across most of the Western U.S. Low level rainfall totals ranging from 2 to 3 inches were expected in some areas, while snowfall accumulations were anticipated rangomg from 6 to 10 inches across the Sierras, Great Basin, and Southern Rockies.

Strong winds were likely to accompany this system with gusts from 45 to 55 mph, and stronger at highest mountain peaks. Winter weather advisories and winter storm warnings remained in effect from the Pacific Northwest, Northern Rockies, Great Basin, and northern Arizona.

Meanwhile, the Central U.S. was to remain unseasonably warm on Saturday as flow from the south persists. This would allow for warm and moist air to pour into the Plains, allowing for scattered showers and thunderstorms to develop. There was a slight chance that these storms would turn severe over the Plains and Eastern Valleys. Temperatures were expected to remain in the 70s across the Upper Midwest and Ohio River Valley, while the Northern Plains was likely to see highs in the 60s again.

The Central and Southern Plains were expected to reach into the 80s on Saturday.

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