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Today's Weather Outlook

UPDATED 7:45 AM EDT, March 20, 2012

By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Fred Allen

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Spring will be ushered in much the way winter concluded for the U.S. A storm-filled sky will grace those in the Northwest and Central U.S., while late-March sunshine will only be interrupted by a few showers and thunderstorms across the Mid-Atlantic and Carolinas today.

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

The weather grabbing headline will be found in the Nation`s Heartland, where numerous showers and thunderstorms will interrupt outdoor plans from Minnesota to the Gulf Coast. Even worse, the thunderstorms across eastern Texas and the Lower Mississippi Valley will produce everything from large hail to damaging wind gusts and even a few tornadoes. In addition to the full slate of severe weather, the storms will contain flooding downpours. Travel will be extremely treacherous along Interstates 10, 20, 30, and 49 from Texas and Louisiana to the Ozarks.

After a brief late-weekend and early-week breather, the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies will be met head-on by another potent low pressure system. Bursts of mountain snow will add up to 6 to 10 inches across the highest Cascades and northern Rocky peaks, while the Interstate 5 corridor between the Emerald City and Eureka, Calif., see another wave of heavy rain.

Those looking for a non-stressful weather day will need to head to the Desert Southwest and Mountain West, as well as along much of the Eastern Seaboard. The only exception to the rule will be the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic, where a few showers and thunderstorms will roam later today. Those that don`t see any storms will enjoy plenty of late-March sunshine and balmy temperatures.

The U.S. will be a study in contrasts, at least temperature-wise today. The Plains all the way to the Atlantic beaches will see the mercury soar into the 60s, 70s and 80s. The mood turns cooler outside the 60s to near 70 degrees in the Desert Southwest, with temperatures ranging from the 20s and 30s in the mountains to the 40s and 50s elsewhere across the West.

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