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1at-9thThe weather pattern shifted on Friday, producing changing weather for many areas. The front that lingered over the eastern seaboard and brought torrential rain to the area the past several days finally moved eastward, allowing drenched areas to dry out. The Southeast Coast was dry for much of the day, but Flood Warnings were still posted for parts of North Carolina and Virginia. The heaviest precipitation fell in New England as the northern part of the aforementioned front remained draped over the region. Flood Watches and Warnings were posted from Maryland through Maine as rivers and lakes were swollen with the excess water. Tropical moisture streamed into Southern California and produced isolated showers and thunderstorms. This activity was expected to decrease later in the day and into Saturday.
Two tornadoes touched down in northern Arizona early Wednesday, derailing 28 cars of a parked freight train, blowing semis off the highway and smashing out the windows of dozens of homes. The first tornado hit Bellemont - west of Flagstaff - around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday and the second touched down east of the small community a short time later. Fifteen homes in Bellemont were so badly damaged that they were uninhabitable and the estimated 30 people who lived in them were evacuated. Authorities were setting up a shelter at midmorning Wednesday, said Coconino County Sheriff's Office spokesman Gerry Blair About 30 RVs were damaged at a business in Bellemont that sells the vehicles and runs a camp ground for RVs. No serious injuries or deaths were reported. Two crew members were on the train when it was cast off the tracks around 6:30 a.m. PDT, said Burlington Northern-Santa Fe spokeswoman Lena Kent, but neither was hurt.

The train was hauling cargo from ports in Los Angeles to the east and contained no hazardous materials. The derailed cars are blocking both main rail lines through the area, and the railroad expects to reopen one of the lines by midnight. In the Baderville area, authorities had to pull a family out of a home where they had been trapped because of damage from the tornado. It wasn't known whether anyone was trapped in homes in the Bellemont area, which is located 15 to 20 miles west of Flagstaff.

Severe weather is expected to continue through Wednesday, and comes a day after storms swept across the western U.S., dropping record-setting rain in northern Nevada, pounding Phoenix with hail, and dumping enough snow at the top of the Sierra to close a mountain highway pass. Rainy weather snarled freeways and caused power outages in Southern California, and the National Weather Service said a storm could dump up to inch of rain in some areas before tapering off Thursday.  A big-rig that jackknifed on a slick freeway Wednesday morning backed up traffic for miles through the Newhall Pass on Interstate 5, the main road between downtown Los Angeles and the bedroom communities of the Santa Clarita Valley. No injuries are reported. Southern California Edison says rain shorted out an insulator, leaving 1,200 customers without power in Long Beach. In Nevada, a semi skidded into the motorcycle of Swiss rock band member Steve Lee, killing him. Two southern Utah teenagers were in critical condition at a Las Vegas hospital Wednesday after being struck by lightning outside their school a day earlier. Christopher Dane Zdunich and Alex Lambson, both 17, suffered burns and internal and external injuries when a bolt of lightning hit a tree they were standing under during a thunderstorm shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday. They are students at Snow Canyon High School in Santa Clara, near St. George.


10th-16thA Nor'easter brought heavy precipitation to the extreme Northeast on Friday. The system developed northeast of the Great Lakes and counter-clockwise rotation around the system pulled abundant moisture in from the Atlantic Ocean. This system created periods of heavy rainfall from New York to Maine, with heaviest rainfall reported across Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Springfield, Vermont reported 3.83 inches of rain, while Portland, Maine reported 3.29 inches. Strong winds accompanied this system with wind gusts up to 45 mph across much of Maine. Most of New England and the Great Lakes saw cloudy skies, but precipitation did not develop.


17th-23rdA large low pressure system developed in the western Plains Saturday and provided much of the active weather in the country. This low pressure system pulled significant moisture northward into the Southern Plains, instigating areas of heavy rain and thunderstorms from central Texas through eastern Oklahoma. At least one of these thunderstorms produced large, damaging hail in central Texas. Farther to the north, moisture streamed into the Upper Mississippi Valley and Upper Midwest, producing light to moderate rain in the region. Meanwhile, a Pacific storm approached the West Coast and was on the verge of producing a tremendous amount of rain and high elevation snow through the Northwest and Northern California. In advance of this significant storm, scattered rain developed in these areas and farther inland through the Intermountain West.


24th-31stMultiple areas of the nation saw active weather on Monday. A trough of low pressure developed over the Lower Mississippi River Valley and continued eastward into the Mid-Atlantic states. The system pulled in ample moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, which allowed for scattered showers and thunderstorms to develop. Some of these storms turned severe with strong winds, hail, and heavy rain. Hail the size of baseballs lasted 3 minutes in Allendale, South Carolina, while multiple trees were blown down across Tennessee and North Carolina. Rainfall totals ranged from 1-2 inches in most places, but Huntsville, Alabama reported 3.08 inches of rain. In the North, a weak front developed over the Great Lakes and Northeast as a low pressure system moved through the Plains. The warm front in the East kicked up cloudy skies with a few scattered showers. Rainfall totals across Pennsylvania and New York ranged from a tenth to a quarter of an inch. Another front extended southward from the center of the low pressure system and swept through the Central Plains into the Central Rockies. Rainfall totals from this system remained light, but strong wind gusts ranged from 20-35 mph. This system also brought cool air into the North-Central US. Highs only reached into the 30s and 40s across the High Plains and the Dakotas.

High wind warnings are in effect for an extensive area from the

Dakotas and northern Nebraska eastward across the Midwest and into the northern Ohio Valley on Tuesday.  Wind advisories extend further south into the Tennessee Valley and northern portions of the central Plains.  Storm warnings have been issued for the waters of the Great lakes.  In addition...blizzard warnings are now in effect for most of North Dakota and extreme northeast Montana.


Jim G. Munley, jr.

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