The nation’s weather

Weather Underground Forecast for Friday, October 04, 2013.

A cold front boundary is expected to bring heavy rain and intense snowfall to the Great Basin, Plains, and Midwest on Friday, while Tropical Storm Karen will inch very close to the Gulf Coast.

Rain will begin to pick up along the Washington coast on Friday as a cold front boundary moves over land. This frontal boundary will move slowly over the Pacific Northwest, bringing plenty of rain and gusty winds along with it. A ridge of high pressure will build over California on Friday, bringing warm, dry conditions to most of the Southwest .

The cold front boundary will move out of the Great Basin on Friday, although plenty of precipitation will linger behind the front. Heavy snow is expected in the central and northern Rockies, as well as into the northern Plains. This will be the first significant snow event for the season, as accumulations will add up to several feet at higher elevations, and around a foot in mountain valleys. Just to the east of the Rockies, this front will likely trigger strong to severe thunderstorms over the central and upper Midwest, as flash flooding will be possible in the upper Mississippi Valley. Severe weather may even reach as far south as Oklahoma and northern Texas.

There is a slight chance that Tropical Storm Karen will make landfall late Friday night. The current forecast track for Karen suggests that this system will strengthen to a category 1 hurricane, with wind speeds ranging between 74 to 95 mph (64 to 82 kts). The system could make landfall anywhere between the Louisiana coast and the Florida panhandle, as thunderstorms will precede the cyclone on Friday. Spotty thunderstorms will also move over the southern tip of Florida due to tropical moisture. The Northeast can expect wet weather on Friday, while the Mid-Atlantic states will avoid precipitation.

Temperatures in the Lower 48 states Thursday have ranged from a morning low of 21 degrees at Truckee-Tahoe, Calif. to a high of 93 degrees at Midland Airpark, Texas

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