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Today's Weather Outlook

8 AM EDT, October 18, 2011

By WeatherBug Meteorologist, John Bateman

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Big changes will be afoot across the eastern U.S., as the recent quiet autumn weather ends and more stormy weather spreads up the Atlantic Coast. The West will remain a cornucopia of sunshine.

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

A tropical disturbance will be pulled in by a weather system heading across the Eastern U.S., creating a major weather maker today. Heavy rain with a few embedded thunderstorms will keep Florida and the Southeast soggy. Rainfall of an inch or two could fall along Florida`s west coast and into the coastal Carolinas. Elsewhere, widespread rain will still bring a soggy day for Tampa and Orlando. Temperatures will be warm and muggy with highs in the upper 70s to middle 80s. Some localized areas may need to be on the lookout for flash flooding.

Behind the system squeezing out this rain in the Southeast will be fairly cool air which will surge southward into the Dakotas and Great Lakes. Some spotty showers and perhaps a few wet snowflakes will fall in the Upper Midwest, including the Twin Cities. A chilly rain will fall in Chicago and Detroit much later today, with a few light showers extending eastward into northern New England. Highs will only warm to the middle 40s and 50s.

If that sounds too dreary and cool for you, then the Southwest is where you want to be. Under sunny skies, Phoenix and the California deserts will warm to the upper 90s and triple digits. Southern California and Las Vegas will see highs in the 80s with lots of sunshine. In fact, much of the West Coast will see sunny skies and pleasant temperatures with highs in the 60s and 70s, from the Pacific Northwest to the Great Basin.

Elsewhere, the Northeast will see partly-to-mostly cloudy skies. Highs will range from the middle 60s to middle 70s. The central and southern Plains will be sunny with highs ranging from the middle 50s to the upper 60s. Temperatures will go up, along with rain chances, as you head toward the Gulf Coast with highs in the 70s in Houston and 80s in New Orleans.

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