Notice the first two maps, which show the cloud cover as of mid-afternoon today, and the temperatures across the state at the same time. Those persistent clouds over the more western counties had an impact on temperatures, and since those clouds are a relatively thin, low-level layer it is difficult to properly model their presence and when/if they will dissipate.

Obviously, they did not dissipate yesterday and despite the absence of any wind of consequence to bring in drier air today, the sun was able to thin those clouds out over the more eastern counties. Another factor is that there is more snow on the ground over the more western counties which would also contribute to the cooler temperatures and making it more difficult to erode the low level stratus deck.

At any rate, the same issues will be present for tonight and Thursday with clouds hanging tough over the more western counties before finally eroding. The big issue for those areas where the clouds have cleared is when/if the clouds will return or will we keep mostly fair skies now that they have finally dissipated? The latest/greatest data currently suggests that the clouds should not be re-developing over those areas that have cleared, and that is what the forecast has been based on.

With that in mind, mostly fair skies for tonight along with light northerly winds should allow temperatures to drop into the low-mid 20s. Lots of sunshine during the day and very light northerly winds should then allow temperatures to moderate to near the 40 degree mark.

By the way, it looks like the record for latest occurrence of a killing freeze (24 degrees) as mentioned in yesterday’s blog will be extended another day or, two as you can see on our forecast page. Don’t think we will be quite that cold tonight, and it will be close but we should get there Friday morning.

After that, the pattern looks to be rather stable going through the coming weekend and up to about the middle of the following week. Temperatures will be gradually moderating under mostly sunny skies and with light, mostly northerly winds until we get to the first part of next week. After that, our winds will be returning to a more southerly direction but moisture will be slow to return.

Our next chance of precipitation now looks to hold off till around the middle of next week and only a slight chance at that.

Notice the 7-day QPF map, which has us pretty much high and dry, but notice also the W Coast will be picking up some good rainfall. I mention that because there are indications the storm track will be taking a more southerly route across the Pacific and into California, which is what the 8-14-day outlook also suggests.

That would result in a more unsettled pattern for us, but also temperatures that would be more moderate than recent days have been.

So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot