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Today's Weather Outlook

UPDATED 8:15 AM EDT, March 30, 2012

By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Andrew Rosenthal

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The last workday of the last week of March will have a stormy tone to it. One Pacific storm will wreak havoc on the Northwest, while a cold front racing through the Ohio and Tennessee valleys will bring showers and thunderstorms.

WeatherBug Meteorologist Gretchen Mischek has the latest in her exclusive WeatherBug National Outlook.

The biggest weather story today will continue to be in the Pacific Northwest, where a Pacific storm will continue to bring heavy rain from northern California to Washington and into western Montana. The passes will remain mainly as rain, but above that will see a foot or more of snow. Temperatures will feel unseasonably chilly for late March, with highs only in the 40s in the valleys, 20s in the higher elevations.

A cold front moving eastward across the Mississippi Valley is kicking off some showers and thunderstorms in the Upper Midwest this morning. As the front tracks east, strong storms will build ahead of it into the Ohio and Tennessee valleys. The strongest storms, in the lower Ohio Valley, could be severe with large hail and damaging winds. Additional hail-producing storms will unleash on the Southern Plains ahead of a dry line separating warm, moist air from dry air.

Proving that winter isn`t quite over, the upper Great Lakes could be treated to a rain-and-snow mix today. Temperatures will be chilly across the Great Lakes, only reaching the upper 30s and 40s, although reading from the Ohio Valley to the Gulf Coast will soar into the 70s and even lower 80s before storms arrive.

High pressure will stretch from southern California to the Upper Mississippi Valley, producing a bounty of sunshine. The late-March sun will do wonders to warm the air, with highs in the 70s in the Dakotas ranging to the 80s across the Southwest and southern Plains.

The approaching cold front will mean a sunny start but a cloudy end along the East Coast. The clear morning skies will produce a frosty wakeup in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, although temperatures will recover into the 50s. The Southeast, meanwhile, will start mild and remain mild throughout the day, topping out in the upper 60s, 70s, and 80s.

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