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Associated Press

Posted on December 18, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 18 at 5:07 PM

Weather Underground midday recap for Tuesday, December 18, 2012.

A major winter storm was in its formative stages on Tuesday as low pressure moved into the Rockies and began to rebuild its energy. The storm dropped heavy snowfall across the central Rockies after bringing snow to the Sierra Nevada mountains in California. This low was expected to move across the country and affect the Northeast later in the week.

Ahead of the storm, the Plains saw warmer than normal temperatures as southerly winds drew warm moist air up from the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to the warm temperatures, abundant sunshine spread across the southern and central Plains.

The Northeast saw some wet weather and thunderstorms on Tuesday. A line of strong thunderstorms moved through Philadelphia and New Jersey, but as of mid-afternoon, no damage had been reported.

Further north, more steady rain fell across Pennsylvania and New York, with some snow mixing into the precipitation as it tapered off in western Pennsylvania. Maine also saw light to moderate snowfall, with rain at the coast.

Isolated thunderstorms were also reported across portions of West Virginia and North Carolina.

Temperatures in the Lower 48 states Tuesday have ranged from a morning low of -9 degrees at Pinedale, Wyo. to a midday high of 86 degrees at Robstown, Texas

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