The nation's weather

May 14, 2011 - 6:44 AM
NOAA CLOUDS

This NOAA satellite image taken Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 1:45 a.m. EDT shows clouds in the eastern third of the country associated with a storm that is producing rain and a few thunderstorms from the Gulf Coast through the Ohio Valley. These systems will push to the east as the day progresses. (AP PHOTO/WEATHER UNDERGROUND)

Severe weather was expected to persist across the Eastern half of the nation Saturday, as a large area of low pressure dominates the region.

The system was forecast to remain relatively stationary over the Eastern Valleys from the Ohio River Valley to the Tennessee Valley, and was expected to weaken slightly.

However, counter-clockwise rotation around this system was expected to continue to pull moisture in from the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean, thus producing conditions favorable for thunderstorms. Scattered thunderstorms were expected from the Southeastern states to the New England states. If storms turned severe, they would most likely develop across Georgia and Florida, the Carolinas, and the Virginias.

The system has a history of producing large hail, damaging winds, periods of heavy rainfall, and tornadoes.

Behind this system, drier conditions were forecast across the Plains, with a ridge of high pressure building in from Canada, pulling with it cool and dry air.

Strong winds with gusts of up to 30 mph were also expected to accompany the system, creating dangerous conditions for wildfires to spread across the Southern Plains, and making it difficult to contain blazes in Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas.

Temperatures across the Northern and Central Plains were forecast to be slightly on the cooler side for mid-May. The North was expected to see highs in the 50s, while the Southern Plains would likely remain in the 80s.

On Friday, temperatures in the Lower 48 states ranged from a morning low of 25 degrees at Gallup, N.M. to a high of 97 degrees at Palm Springs, Calif.