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Associated Press

Posted on May 15, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Updated Thursday, May 15 at 4:07 PM

Weather Underground midday recap for Thursday, May 15, 2014

Strong to severe thunderstorms continued to inch across the eastern third of the country on Thursday, while a ridge of high pressure remained in place over the West Coast.

A cold frontal boundary extended from the eastern Gulf Coast to the eastern Great Lakes on Thursday. This system interacted with a warm, muggy air mass over the Eastern Seaboard to initiate widespread rain and thunderstorms. Strong to severe thunderstorms moved across parts of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, as a tornado warning was issued in eastern Florida. Severe thunderstorm watches were slo issued in North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. A tornado was reported in Virginia Gardens, Fla., while St. Augustine, Fla., recorded wind gusts of 41 mph. Heavy rain also impacted much of the eastern third of the country, as Cross City, Fla., reported a midday total of 4.42 inches of rain, while Augusta Bush, Ga., reported a midday total of 2.84 inches of rain. Just to the west, scattered showers pushed across parts of the southern Plains, the Mississippi Valley and the upper Midwest.

A cold frontal boundary began to dip southward over the upper Intermountain West on Thursday, which ushered scattered showers over parts of Montana. A large ridge of high pressure dominated the remainder of the western third of the country. Heat advisories were issued in southern California as offshore winds brought warm, dry conditions to the Southwest. Fullerton, Calif., recorded a midday high of 100 degrees, while Camp Pendleton, Calif., also recorded a midday total of 100 degrees.

Temperatures in the Lower 48 states Thursday have ranged from a morning low of 19 degrees at Hazen, N.D. to a midday high of 104 degrees at Santa Maria, Calif.

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