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Today's Weather Outlook

7:45 AM EDT, October 17, 2012

By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Seth Carrier

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The middle of the work week will feature active weather in the central U.S. with showers, severe thunderstorms, and gusty winds. Meanwhile, both coasts will enjoy pleasant and tranquil conditions.

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

A developing storm dropping out of central Canada will drive today`s busy weather from the northern Plains all the way to the Mid-South. An associated cold front blasting through the Midwest will tap into warm and unstable air bubbling northward off the Gulf of Mexico. Where these two features clash, severe thunderstorms are likely to be the result, including the cities of Evansville, Ind., Memphis, Tenn., and Little Rock, Ark. These cities will be in danger of seeing storms capable of producing wind gusts in excess of 70 mph as well as large hail.

Further to the north the threat of thunderstorms will diminish, but periods of rain will still soak the Upper Midwest, including St. Louis, Chicago, and Milwaukee. Lighter and more scattered showers will target the Minnesota Arrowhead and the Dakotas. Temperatures in the Central U.S. today will range from the low 80s in the Deep South to 60s and 70s in the Midwest, while the northern Plains stay stuck in the 50s.

On the back side of the same low pressure, very strong wind gusts will be on the weather menu today. A strong pressure gradient will set up between the Canadian low and high pressure along the West Coast, and this will funnel wind gusts as high as 65 to 70 mph down the east side of the Rockies in Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas. Make sure to secure any loose items in your yard, as winds of this strength could easily make them airborne.

The only other weather hiccup today will be a few pop-up thunderstorms in south Florida, but these will be very hit-or-miss.

Elsewhere, the eastern U.S. will enjoy mostly sunny weather with an area of high pressure in control. This high will also drag warm temperatures up the coast, with 70s in the Southeast, 60s in the interior Northeast, and 50s in northern New England.

Another broad area of high pressure will also control weather in the West, with abundant sunshine from the southern Rockies all the way to the West Coast. Only a few clouds will hang on in the Pacific Northwest. Toasty 90s will be in place from West Texas into the Desert Southwest, with 80s in California`s Central Valley. Meanwhile, much cooler 50s and 60s will invade the Rockies and Northwest.

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