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Posted: $util.date("h:mm a MMM d, yyyy",$story.contentLiveDate,$timeZone)
Reporter: AP

Cold and active weather will continue for parts of the central U.S. and Rockies today as a strong cold front extending from the Upper Midwest and southward across the Central Great Basin reaches from the Upper Great Lakes through the Southern Plains by nightfall.
Strong winds, plummeting temperatures, and organized rain and thunderstorms are expected to accompany this disturbance from the Upper Great Lakes through the Central and Southern Plains. Areas from northwestern Texas through the Edwards Plateau area are at slight risk of severe thunderstorm development through the mid-evening, with threats of large hail and isolated damaging wind gusts.
Behind the cold front, a colder air mass will settle over the Northwest and North-Central U.S., leading to cold daytime highs in the 20s, 30s, and 40s. Temperatures near and below the freezing mark will allow snow showers and mixed wintry precipitation to fall from parts of northern Minnesota back through Colorado.
Additional energy dropping from the Northwest toward the Central Rockies will enhance snowfall in the Northern and Central Rockies, leading to periods of heavy snow through the mid-week. Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories are issued for northeastern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming in anticipation of strong winds and snowfall accumulations of 6 to 16 inches.
In the East, an upper-level disturbance located off the coastal Carolinas will trigger mainly light rain over the southern Mid-Atlantic. Meanwhile, rain and thunderstorms are expected to spread from the Western Gulf Coast to the Central Gulf Coast as an upper level low takes shape along the Gulf Coast.

HIGHEST TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F).....106 Death Valley, Calif.
HIGHEST HEAT INDEX (DEGREES F)..................92 Kahului, Hawaii
LOWEST TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F).........15 Snake River, Wyo.
LOWEST WIND CHILL (DEGREES F).................-27 Kuparuk, Alaska
HIGHEST WIND GUST (MPH).......................64 Monarch Pass, Colo.
HIGHEST PRECIPITATION (INCHES)......................2.05 Tampa, Fla.

--Ball Lightning is a phenomenon that has not been easily explained or duplicated within the scientific community, leaving some scientists to dispute its existence. Witnesses have described these rare events as glowing spheres that are within tens of feet of the ground. Ball Lightning was reportedly observed as an orange fireball over the Arabian Sea on this date in 1980.
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