Undated (AP) _ Rain drenched areas in the central Plains and from northeast Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania to the East Coast on Wednesday.

Showers were scattered from eastern parts of Wyoming and northern Colorado across Nebraska and southeastern South Dakota into northeast Kansas. Thunderstorms were scattered over the Southwest deserts, and patches of extreme southern California and southwest Arizona had sprinkles of rain.

A few showers continued over parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, on the central Gulf Coast. In the six hours up to 2 p.m. EDT, nearly three-quarters of an inch of rain fell at Monroe, La.

Temperatures were in the 50s or 60s across much of the nation Wednesday afternoon. Temperatures were in the 40s in parts of the northern Plains and upper Mississippi Valley through the Great Lakes into New England. Readings were in the upper 30s in parts of upper Michigan and northern Wisconsin into the Minnesota arrowhead.

Temperatures were in the 70s and 80s from the southern Atlantic Coast and Florida through the Gulf Coast into the southern half of Texas. Temperatures also were in the 70s and 80s from the southern Rockies into the valleys of California.

Temperatures around the nation at 3 p.m. EDT ranged from 38 degrees at Rhinelander, Wis., to 92 degrees at Palm Springs, Calif. The nation's low Wednesday morning was 20 degrees at Gunnison, Colo.

Thursday's forecast called for rain showers widespread from the middle Mississippi and lower Missouri valleys into the northern part of the southern Plains. Showers were expected to be scattered across the upper Mississippi Valley, the lower Mississippi Valley through the Gulf Coast and northern Florida. Scattered snow showers were forecast for the northern two-thirds of Maine. Sunny, warm weather was predicted for much of the region west of the Rockies.

High temperatures were forecast to be in the 60s or 70s across much of the nation, the 50s from the eastern Dakotas through the middle Mississippi and lower Ohio valleys into the mid Atlantic coast, 40s from the northern Great Lakes through southern New England, and 30s in northern Maine. Highs should be in the 80s across southern Florida, from southern Texas through the southern Rockies into the California valleys, and 90s in the middle Rio Grande Valley, the desert Southwest and the northern California valleys.