Active weather will return to the eastern half of the nation on Thursday as the cold front extending from the Upper Great Lakes through the Southern High Plains advances eastward and stretches from the Northeast and Northern Appalachians through eastern and southern Texas. As the disturbances progresses, it will interact with moisture from the Gulf of Mexico lifting across the East. This will allow rain showers to persist along and ahead of the front from the western Gulf Coast through the Tennessee and Ohio Valley into the Northeast by Thursday evening. Thunderstorms will accompany wet weather activity from parts of the Southern Plains and the Mid-Mississippi Valley into parts of the Central and Western Gulf Coasts. There is a slight risk for severe thunderstorm development with hail from portions of central Texas to central and southern Arkansas. Expect showers to persist after this cold front passes. Post-frontal showers in the Northeast may mix with snow Thursday night as lows drop close to the freezing mark. Expect cooler daytime highs to follow this system on Friday. Meanwhile, another disturbance dropping across Ontario will trigger light snow in the ares of the Upper Great Lakes Thursday evening. Elsewhere in the East, easterly winds will kick up showers and thunderstorms in the southern tip of Florida and along it¼'s southeastern coast.
In the West, energy along the tail end of this cold front will kick up more light snow showers over parts of the Central and Southern Rockies during the morning. Snow accumulations are expected to range from 4 to 8 inches in the plains and mountain valleys to 10 to 20 inches with locally heavier amounts across the slopes of the mountains. Temperatures in the Lower 48 states Wednesday have ranged from a morning low of -20 degrees at West Yellowstone, Mont. to a high of 89 degrees at Fort Stockton, Texas