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Cool Next Few Days, Warmer to End the Week.

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Been getting phone calls and emails regarding comet PanSTARRS. The maps on the right will answer the questions regarding when and where to look for Tuesday and Wednesday. The next issue is viewing conditions and that is not quite so straight forward. A vigorous NW flow pattern aloft will bring another piece of energy our way for tonight into the day Tuesday. No precipitation is expected, but we do expect to see increasing cloud cover tonight and mostly cloudy skies to start the day Tuesday. Those clouds should be thinning out as the day wears on leaving us with fair skies by evening. However, cannot rule out some of those high, thin, cirrus clouds hanging around after dark in the western sky. Am optimistic at this time that we should have good viewing conditions though, with above caveat in mind.

The clouds will also have an impact on temperatures. Although we will have light and variable winds for the overnight hours and the air is quite dry, the cloud cover should keep it from being quite as cold as it was this morning. That means most of us should stay just above the freezing mark to start the day Tuesday. However, as the day wears on northerly winds will be increasing to 10-20 mph and together with the extra cloudiness, that should hold us in the 50s for a daytime high. Lower 60s are normal for this time of year.

Wednesday should see lots of sunshine pretty much all day with only some high level cirrus clouds from time to time. Right now, am cautiously optimistic regarding viewing for the comet shortly after dark that evening as well as generally fair skies should prevail. Temperatures on Wed will still be below normal with morning lows near freezing and daytime highs in the 50s to near 60.

After that, a warming trend will set in with daytime highs well into the 70s for Thu & Fri and near 70 on Saturday. S to SW winds along with lots of sunshine will help to warm things up during the day and our nights will be milder as well.

However, there remain some inconsistencies in the longer range guidance as we go on through the weekend. The ECMWF has been the most consistent and brings a cool front into the state on Saturday and pushes it further southward into early next week. The GFS is much less aggressive with that boundary though and keeps us much warmer. For now, have sided with the more consistent ECMWF solution which will also bring in a chance of showers for Sunday along with the cooler conditions behind the front. This will not be a real strong system in any event, so the cooler conditions really just bring us back down to near normal for Sunday and Monday.

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

Dick Faurot

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