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Cold OneTonight Followed by High Fire Danger.

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For those of you interested in this sort of thing, today was one of those days in which the record book will not show it as being nearly as cold as it really was. The high temperature for the calendar day was 32 degrees, but that was shortly after midnight. The afternoon high temperature was only 21 which is much more indicative of what our day was like. Anyway you look at it though, it certainly was a cold day.

It will be followed by another exceptionally cold night tonight with widespread single digit temperatures and some of the more protected, normally colder valley areas at or perhaps even below zero. By the way, we have already had 4 nights that were in the single digits so far this winter. At least one more is on tap for tonight and potentially another one next week. The long term average for the winter months is 4 single digit nights so we will certainly exceed that by Friday morning.

A warming trend will begin Friday afternoon with full sun and a SW wind that will be on the order of 20-25 mph or more by afternoon. That will lead to a very high fire danger situation as the air will be quite dry and the warmer afternoon temperatures of around 40 will put the minimum relative humidity near 20%.

Lots of sunshine for Sat and Sun will also help to warm things up. A weak boundary will shift the winds back to a more NW direction Sat which should hold our daytime highs into the mid 50s. A more SW wind for much of the day Sunday should push afternoon temperatures well into the 60s. At least the winds will not be as strong either day which will help with the fire situation somewhat, but the low humidity, above normal temperatures, and any wind at all will still make for a volatile situation.

Another surge of very cold air will arrive early next week with much below normal temperatures returning for Monday and continuing at least through mid-week. In fact, would not be surprised if we drop below single digits again by Wednesday morning. Unfortunately, our chances of any significant precipitation are pretty much in the slim to none category as the 7 day QPF map on the right clearly shows.

So, be careful with the outdoor activities until we get some moisture around here and it will be awhile before that happens. In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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