A warm front was dragging gloomy weather from the central Plains to parts of the East today, while a different system was bringing rain and mountain snow to the Northwest and Rockies.

Severe storms _ with straight-line winds, large hail and isolated tornadoes _ were moving into the central and southern Plains and the Ohio Valley. Lesser storms were forecast in the northern Plains and southern Great Lakes.

Showers and thunderstorms were falling this morning from the northern Plains and Great Lakes into the mid-Mississippi Valley. Severe storms were drenching eastern Illinois and Missouri.

Though the day was starting clear and dry in the East, the system was expected to reach the mid-Atlantic states late in the day, with rain also possible in the Northeast after dark.

High pressure was expected to keep the Southeast generally clear and dry. Partly cloudy skies and windy weather were forecast for the desert Southwest.

A trough of low pressure was drawing unsettled weather over the West, with rain showers falling in the Pacific Northwest and through the Rockies, with several inches of snow possible above 6,000 feet.

Highs were forecast in the 30s and 40s over the northern Rockies, the 50s and 60s across the rest of the northern tier of states, and the 70s to the 90s across the southern tier.

Temperatures Tuesday in the lower 48 states ranged from 99 degrees in Yuma, Ariz., to 21 degrees in Taos, N.M.