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Short Range Public Discussion
(Latest Discussion - Issued 2014Z Feb 27, 2024)
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Short Range Forecast Discussion NWS Weather Prediction Center College Park MD 313 PM EST Tue Feb 27 2024 Valid 00Z Wed Feb 28 2024 - 00Z Fri Mar 01 2024 ...Strong cold front to usher in a variety of hazardous weather across the Heartland today; briefly disrupt record warm spell... ...Powerful West Coast storm brings significant snow and wind to the Pacific Northwest beginning late Wednesday into Thursday... Much of the nation's weather story through the next 36 hours remains tied to a strong Polar cold front which continues to sweep across the Lower 48. After a period of widespread all-time record breaking warmth yesterday, temperatures across portions of the Northern Plains have plummeted nearly 50-60 degrees behind the front in a stark reminder that meteorological Winter is still with us for two more days. A similar scenario will play out further south across the portions of the Southern Plains and Midwest today, as widespread record warmth (including some all time records) are forecast ahead of the front before falling off into the 40's and 50's tomorrow. Stark pattern change aside, this strong cold front will also drive Critical fire weather conditions (level 2/3) across the Southern Plains owing to the combination of very dry, warm, and gusty conditions in place. To the east in the Midwest and Ohio Valley, an Enhanced risk (level 3/5) of severe weather is highlighted for thunderstorms expected late this afternoon into the overnight hours. All modes of severe weather, including large hail, damaging gusts, and tornadoes (some of which could be significant) are possible with this activity. This thunderstorm activity will eventually weaken tomorrow, but locally heavy rainfall and a few severe thunderstorms are possible ahead of the front stretching from the Ohio Valley into the Northeast. Our attention then turns to the West Coast late Wednesday into Thursday as a significant winter storm focuses impacts atop the Cascades and Sierra Nevada in California. Extremely heavy snowfall rates exceeding 3 inches per hour will lead to multiple feet of snow for higher elevations in these areas (particularly above 5000 feet), including passes in the aforementioned ranges. When combined with strong wind gusts, this snowfall will lead to difficult to impossible travel conditions in the mountains. Accordingly, a swath of Winter Storm Warnings and Watches extend from the Olympics and Cascades southward into the Shastas and Sierra Nevada. In the lower elevations, localized heavy rainfall can be expected along the Pacific Northwest and Northern California coastline. Asherman Graphics available at