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Active weather returned to the Plains on Wednesday as a trough of low pressure moved off the Northern Rockies and into the Northern Plains.

This system pushed a frontal boundary eastward and kicked up scattered showers and thunderstorms across the Dakotas and Minnesota throughout the day. Some of these storms have turned severe with large hail and gusty winds.

One inch in diameter hail was reported in Stewart, Minnesota, while 1.25 inch in diameter hail was reported in Dassel, Minnesota. Strong winds ahead of this front increased fire danger across the Central Plains, due to prevailing hot and dry surface conditions.

In the South, a frontal boundary lingered over northern Florida and the Southeast and triggered more heavy rainfall with strong thunderstorm development. These storms have not yet turned severe but a mid-day total of 2.69 inches of rain was reported at Perry, Florida.

Behind this system, high pressure built over the Eastern US from the Great Lakes through the Tennessee Valley. This brought sunny and dry conditions to most of the Eastern states. In the West, monsoonal moisture lingered over the Southwestern US and allowed for thunderstorm activity to continue across the Southwest, Great Basin, and Southern Rockies.

Periods of heavy rainfall and flash flooding were expected in parts of Arizona and southern California.

WEDNESDAY'S WEATHER EXTREMES:

HIGHEST TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F).........................98 Needles, Calif.

HIGHEST HEAT INDEX (DEGREES F)..........................106 El Centro, Calif.

LOWEST TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F)..........................36 Meacham, Ore.

LOWEST WIND CHILL (DEGREES F)...........................26 Gulkana, Alaska

HIGHEST WIND GUST (MPH).................................53 Hattiesburg, Miss.

HIGHEST PRECIPITATION (INCHES)..........................2.69 Perry, Fla.

ON THIS DATE....... The names of tropical storms get recycled every six many years. For instance, on this date in 1999, Hurricane Bret hit south Texas with 140 mph winds and a 15 foot storm surge. While Corpus Christi and Brownsville missed the storm's full force, some areas received more than 30 inches of rain.

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