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A strong winter storm brought more heavy snow, freezing rain, and showers and thunderstorms to the Plains and Mississippi River Valley on Thursday.

The strong storm advanced eastward from the Southern Plains, and created a warm front that pushed warm and moist air onshore from the Gulf of Mexico. This allowed for showers and thunderstorms to develop over the Southeast from far eastern Texas through the Tennessee Valley. Some of these storms turned severe with strong winds, large hail, and periods of heavy rainfall.

Rainfall totals ranged from 1 to 2 inches across the region. Meanwhile, cooler temperatures along the northern side of this system allowed for rain to turn to freezing rain showers across Arkansas and Missouri. This created a dangerous ice storm event with ice accumulation up to a half of an inch in some areas. This also produced dangerous roads and travel conditions.

Farther north, heavy snow showers persisted across the Central and Southern Plains, which moved into the Mid-Mississippi River Valley. Midday snowfall accumulations reached more than 12 inches in parts of Oklahoma and Kansas, with 6 to 9 inches reported across Nebraska and Missouri.

Strong winds created blowing snow and poor visibility across the center of the nation. The strongest wind gusts ranged from 70 to 80 mph across Kansas and Missouri.

Out West, a trough of low pressure moved over the Pacific Northwest and pulled moisture onshore with it. This created widespread rain showers and high elevation snow showers across Washington and northern Oregon.

THURSDAY'S WEATHER EXTREMES:

HIGHEST TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F).........................95 Weslaco, Texas

HIGHEST HEAT INDEX (DEGREES F)..........................95 Harlingen, Texas

LOWEST TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F)..........................-25 Crane Lake, Minn.

LOWEST WIND CHILL (DEGREES F)...........................-71 Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska

HIGHEST WIND GUST (MPH).................................84 Mt. Washington, N.H.

HIGHEST PRECIPITATION (INCHES)..........................2.45 Dodge City, Kan.

ON THIS DATE....... An unusual northeastern Louisiana tornado outbreak occurred on this date in 1971, killing over 120 people. Nearly 50 people were killed by the first tornado as it touched down in Louisiana and quickly moved into Mississippi. Almost 1,600 people were injured.

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