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Colder Air Headed Our Way.

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After the warmest ever start to the month of December, we have cooled off somewhat over the last few days; but, temperatures are still running well above normal. That trend will continue through the early part of the weekend, then it will be back to the real world. Unfortunately, we are still dry and the prospects for enough moisture to even put a dent in the drought, let alone break it are pretty bleak. Notice the QPF map on the right which is valid through this coming Monday evening. Obviously, any precipitation we receive during that time will be very light. However, there are some big changes in our temperatures that are coming this way and you will certainly notice the difference before the weekend is over.

A weak cool front will be entering the state later in the day Thursday and gradually work its way across the eastern side of the state during the day Friday. As a result, brisk southerly winds ahead of the front will result in another very mild day for Thursday with highs well into the 60s. Light southerly winds for the overnight hours will also keep us milder to start the day with lows near 40. Friday morning will be milder yet with the southerly winds and morning lows only near 50. The front should be slowly moving on southward during the day with winds shifting to a more northerly direction, but not making a big change in temperatures as we still expect to be in the 60s Friday. A few showers may form near the boundary, particularly for the more eastern counties late in the day, but the chances are only 20% or less.

The boundary will meander around somewhat during the day Saturday and may even reform further north as the latest guidance suggests our surface winds should be back to an E or SE direction before the day is over. That means another mild day with highs around 60 or so. Keep in mind, our normal daytime high at this time of year is in the lower 50s. The lack of a focus should result in minimal rain chances for the parade Saturday night, but a few light showers cannot be completely ruled out although the chances are still less than 20%.

Sunday is when it gets interesting as much colder air from way up north will finally start surging southward. Right now, it appears our warmest time of day will be first thing that morning with temperatures falling into the 30s by days end. Gusty northerly winds will make it feel much cooler than that. Also, there will be at least a chance of precipitation, most likely in the form of a cold rain although a brief changeover to a wintry mix that evening/night is a possibility. Whatever does fall will be light as noted above and present indications suggest no accumulation of any sort of wintry precip.

After that, our skies should be clearing quickly for early next week resulting in cold nights and cool days with gradually moderating temperatures by the middle of the week. The next question then becomes when we can expect the next big cool-down. There are indications that we may be seeing a pattern change aloft that will allow for some more cold air to drain down our way over the next few weeks. That is by no means certain, and we still do not see a significant series of wet systems coming our way that would put at least a dent in the ongoing drought.

So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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