The nation’s weather

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Wintry conditions were expected to sweep through the Central U.S. on Thursday as a low pressure system continued to track across the Plains.

The system was forecast to create a cold front that could continue triggering precipitation as it moved from the Plains over the Mississippi River. Snow was expected to persist in the North because of colder temperatures with highs only reaching to near zero.

The Upper Midwest could see between 1 and 2 inches of snow, while the Mid-Mississippi River Valley could see between 3 and 5 inches with highs remaining in the 20s.

Areas ahead of the front anticipated a sloppy combination of snow and rain before the system eventually moves through and cools the Midwest. The front was forecast to stretch down the Mississippi Valley and produce scattered showers that could reach well into the Lower Mississippi Valley and Gulf states. About an inch of rain was expected with highs in the 50s.

As the front moves through, extremely cold temperatures due to building high pressure were expected to bring another overnight freeze over the region. Lows over the Southern Plains were expected to dip into the 20s on Thursday night.

The Northern Plains could see bitterly cold conditions with highs in the negative teens and overnight lows dropping below negative 30. Blizzard conditions were likely, since strong winds gusting up to 30 miles per hour were expected and could blow around snow that fell Wednesday.

The Great Lakes region was expected to see snow showers increase throughout the day as the front approached, leaving up to 3 inches by nightfall. Light and scattered snow showers could stretch up the Ohio River Valley and drop up to 2 inches of snow over the region. High temperatures were expected to remain near freezing.

Out West, another low pressure system was forecast to approach the Pacific Northwest from the Pacific Ocean. As the system pushes moisture onshore, another day of light and scattered showers were expected to develop by evening.

On Wednesday, temperatures in the Lower 48 states ranged from a low of negative 22 degrees at International Falls, Minn., to a high of 79 degrees at Vandenberg, Calif.