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A cold front stretched across the upper Intermountain West, the northern Plains and the upper Mississippi Valley today. As this system collided with a warm, muggy air mass draped across the nation's midsection, strong to severe thunderstorms developed over the northern tier of the country.

Tornado watches were issued across North Dakota, while severe thunderstorm warnings were issued in southwest North Dakota. Bowman, North Dakota reported one-inch-sized hail, while Westby, Montana reported 0.88-inch-sized hail. Scattered showers and thunderstorms also lingered over parts of Montana and Idaho.

An area of low pressure along the western end of the frontal boundary ushered rain and thunderstorms over parts of the Great Basin, Oregon and northern California. High pressure along the coast of southern California kept the Southwest mostly clear of wet weather.

Meanwhile, a low pressure system inched eastward over the southeastern corner of the country. This system drew warm, humid air from the Gulf of Mexico, which initiated heavy rain and strong thunderstorms over the eastern Gulf Coast, the Southeast and the southern Mid-Atlantic. Wilmington, North Carolina reported a midday total of 2.26 inches of rain, while Charlotte, North Carolina reported a midday total of 1.26 inches of rain.

High pressure kept the remainder of the Eastern Seaboard clear of precipitation.

MONDAY'S WEATHER EXTREMES:

-HIGHEST TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F).........................104 Needles, California

-HIGHEST HEAT INDEX (DEGREES F)..........................118 Kingsville, Texas

-LOWEST TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F)..........................36 Bryce Canyon, Utah

-LOWEST WIND CHILL (DEGREES F)...........................21 Barrow, Alaska

-HIGHEST WIND GUST (MPH).................................55 Cape Lisburne, Alaska

-HIGHEST PRECIPITATION (INCHES)..........................5.39 Valparaiso, Florida

ON THIS DATE:

-In 1993, the Great Mississippi Flood crested at 46.9 feet in St. Louis. This crest easily broke the old record of 43.2 feet set in 1973. While the damage was an astonishing $20 billion, the 11-mile-long, 52-foot-high flood wall protected the city center from sustaining even more damage.

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