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Rain Likely, Storms Possible.

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Turns out that we were cool enough by midnight last night to drop the average temperature for January into a tie for 7th warmest all-time. Just to keep things in perspective, January of 2006 is still the all-time warmest on record and was, on average, 4 degrees warmer than this past January. So, this past January is certainly not unprecedented, even in the recent past. The lack of snowfall so far is not particularly unusual either. Keep in mind that some of our heaviest snows have occurred in March, so we still have a long way to go.

Showers and storms that developed this morning south of I-40 will be moving on out this afternoon leaving us with fair to partly cloudy skies tonight and to start the day on Thursday. However, increasing cloud cover will be quickly returning on Thursday in advance of a storm system that will be moving out of the southern Rockies on Friday. That should set the stage for a good chance of showers and storms for much of the state beginning Thursday night out west and ending early Saturday for the extreme east.

Much of the state is still way too dry and this system has the potential to help a great deal. Notice the QPF map on the right which if it verifies will give our more western neighbors the first good soaking they have received since early in the winter. Although the instability will be limited with this system, the dynamics will be quite strong so isolated severe storms are certainly not out of the question.

The rest of today and tonight will have light N to NE winds becoming more E by first thing in the morning and then SE and increasing to 10-20 mph by Thursday afternoon. Friday will see strong southerly winds, overcast skies, and widespread showers with some embedded storms that will be moving from W-E across the state. The trailing cool front will then push through Friday night followed by gusty NW winds for Saturday.

Saturday will also be much cooler, but actually only back to near normal conditions. In fact, the rest of the weekend and well into the following week should see temperatures more typical of early February, if not cooler than normal by the middle of next week. The wind flow aloft is undergoing some changes and will become more amplified for much of next week. That will allow cooler air to settle into the state although it appears that the brunt of the coldest air will probably be further east of us.

In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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