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Sydney, Australia

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Sydney, Australia

Today's Weather Outlook

UPDATED 7:45 AM EDT, March 15, 2012

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, John Bateman

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The ides of March will bring typical early-spring thunderstorms across the Nation`s Heartland, while the Pacific Northwest is raked again by a coastal storm. Well-above-normal temperatures though will make up for any other weather woes for much of the U.S.

WeatherBug Meteorologist Todd Nelson has the latest in his exclusive WeatherBug National Outlook.

A system moving across the Heartland will help to spark off more thunderstorms from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes today. Unseasonably warm and moist air will expand even more across the Eastern U.S., setting the stage for a few trouble-some thunderstorms from the eastern Plains to the Ohio Valley and Mid-South. Hail and high winds will the primary threats within the more intense storms from Oklahoma and Tennessee to Ohio and Lower Michigan.

Around the potential severe weather will be scattered showers and thunderstorms from Houston to Chicago, which will eventually spread eastward into the Mid-Atlantic by early evening. Temperatures will be unusually warm for this time of year, with highs in the 70s and 80s from New Orleans to Cleveland, and eastward into Washington, D.C.

In the Northwest, a Pacific system ramming into the U.S. coast will bring more rain and mountain snow from Northern California to Washington state, and eastward into Montana. Snow will fall in the higher elevations of the Cascades and Bitterroots. Temperatures will be kept down where the rain is most persistent, with highs only in the lower 50s in Seattle and Portland, Ore. Some drier areas will warm to the 60s while higher elevations remain in the 30s and 40s.

Much of the rest of the U.S. will see pleasant weather. Southern California and the Southwest will see plentiful sunshine with highs in the 60s, 70s and 80s, as will the Rockies, from Salt Lake City to Denver.

The western High Plains will be dry and quite mild. The mercury will soar into the 60s and 70s for most across the Plains, except topping out in the lower to middle 80s in the southern Plains.

Moving eastward, New England will be a little cool with partly sunny skies. Highs will hit the 40s and lower 50s. Heading to the Southeast, the Carolinas will see warm temperatures as highs hit the 80s in most locations. In fact, much of the Southeast from Atlanta to Miami will be very nice, with highs in the 80s. Enjoy!

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