As mentioned in the morning discussion, 2012 is getting off to a mighty mild start with temperatures running about 8 degrees above normal so far. In terms of how that ranks in the past, it is the 20th warmest start to the month of January with records going back to 1905. This, of course, will change and today's NE winds marked the beginning of what will be cooler weather for much of the coming week. Keep in mind though that cooler that what we have been so far is still at or above what is considered normal for this time of year.

For example, the clouds moving in this evening will pretty much stay with us right on through Tuesday. As a result of the cloudy skies and a NE wind, our daytime highs for Sun-Tue will be about 10 degrees cooler than today but that will still be close to the normal high of 47. Also, the clouds will keep us well above freezing for the next few nights which is much above the normal low of 27.

Along with the clouds comes a slight chance of some sprinkles on Sunday with a chance of light rain or showers mainly for the more southern counties on Monday. Monday night into the day Tuesday still looks to be the most likely time for rainfall for the eastern half of the state. Notice the QPF map on the right. The extreme SE counties have a decent shot at an inch or more of rain with much lesser amounts as you go to the NW across the state. And with the mild temperatures in place, this does appear to be an all rain event.

The upper level system responsible for the more unsettled pattern of the next few days will be moving on east of us by Wednesday. Much cooler air will drop in behind it in the form of a stronger cold front with gusty northerly winds by Wednesday afternoon. However, the moisture will have moved out as the cold air settles in so this still looks to be a dry system.

But, this will set us up for the coldest days of the coming week to be on Thu & Fri with lows in the 20s and highs in the lower 40s….in other words, at or below normal for a change. This is just a glancing blow and milder conditions look to be quickly returning in time for the coming weekend. More cold air is waiting in the wings by early that following week, but the true blue arctic air remains bottled up in the north country with no firm indications that it will be coming our way anytime soon. The longer range products keep hinting that some arctic air will try to invade the lower 48 eventually, but there has not been any consistency up to this point.

So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot