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Powerful Storm Batters Pacific Coast

March 27, 1985

Undated (AP) _ A blustery spring storm packing rain, hail, high winds and snow battered the Northwest on Tuesday, and gusts up to 75 mph shattered windows in Colorado.

More than 3 inches of snow accumulated in Redding, Calif., and an inch was measured at Sexton Summit, Ore., while hail pelted Ukiah, Calif.

Storm warnings were posted for the coast and straits of Washington state, where winds gusting to 50 mph were expected to produce waves as high as 25 feet along the shoreline. Gale warnings were in effect for the coast of Oregon and northern California.

Travelers’ advisories for snow and gusty winds were issued for parts of Washington, Oregon, and California’s northern Sacramento Valley.

Moderate snow along with wind gusts of more than 50 mph were reported at Klamath Falls, Ore.

Snow also extended from southern Montana across parts of Wyoming and western Colorado. Six inches of new snow fell at Wyola, Mont.

A tornado watch was posted for evening in portions of Kansas and Nebraska. Scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms developed from north central Texas, across eastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa.

Gusty winds were common over the southern and central High Plains. Colorado Springs, Colo., reported a wind gust of 74 mph, while gusts in excess of 50 mph were reported at Clayton, N.M., Pueblo, Colo., and Guadalupe Pass, Texas.

In Denver, the wind shattered glass panels in an apartment building and neighboring retail complex.

″There was a lot of noise and a lot of glass, but luckily no one was hurt,″ said Tim Gonerka, vice president and general manager of the Tabor Center shopping complex.

Forecaster Keith Williams said a wind gust of about 75 mph was reported near Boulder.

Strong southerly winds also whipped across parts of Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota.

Skies were mostly sunny over the eastern third of the nation, and temperatures warmed into the 40s over the Northeast and the 70s and low 80s over the Southeast.

A record low temperature of 30 degrees was reported at Santa Maria, Calif., north of Santa Barabara, two degrees lower than the record set 49 years ago.

The low for the nation Tuesday was 2 degrees above zero at Ely, Nev.

Temperatures around the nation at 2 p.m. EST ranged from 23 degrees at Loring Air Force Base, Maine, to 84 degrees at McAllen, Brownsville and Harlingen, Texas.

Wednesday’s forecast called for thunderstorms scattered over eastern portions of the southern Plains, the lower Mississippi and Ohio valleys.

Rainshowers were expected from the upper Great Lakes across the upper Mississippi Valley and the northern Plains. Rain mixed with snow was predicted for North Dakota and northern Minnesota.

Rainshowers with snow over the higher elevations was expected from the northern half of the Pacific coast across the northern Rockies, and rainshowers will spread from southern and central California across the southern Plateau.

High temperatures were forecast to be in the 40s over northern Maine and from the northern Pacific coast across the northern Plains and upper Michigan.

Highs were expected to reach the 70s and low 80s in the desert Southwest and from the southern Plains across the southern two-thirds of the Atlantic Coast.

Update hourly