After a chilly start to our day today, much warmer weather can be expected through the rest of the month so January will be ending on a very mild note. Also, February will be getting off to a relatively mild start which will be a dramatic contrast to this time last year when we had the first of two blizzards. Quite frankly, much of the state could use some moisture either in the form of rain or snow, but the chances of that are pretty slim.

The main issue for the next couple of days will be the winds will be increasing from a S to SW direction and becoming quite gusty on Monday and Tuesday ahead of a weak front that should arrive by early Wednesday. The strength of the winds, the dormant vegetation, and the very warm temperatures for this time of year all add up to an enhanced fire danger situation. Fortunately, higher humidity levels will be creeping back into the state during the day Monday and particularly for Tuesday which will mitigate the fire danger somewhat.

Look for daytime highs to be near 60 this afternoon and well into the 60s for Monday-Wednesday. Our nights will also be getting warmer as we will stay above freezing tonight and will likely start Tuesday morning with temperatures closer to our normal daytime highs for this time of year.

The weak front that is expected on Wednesday will be re-enforced with cooler air for the latter part of the week and going into the coming weekend. Also, the moisture ahead of the front may be sufficient for a few light showers, mainly over the more eastern counties during the day Tuesday and into the day Wednesday.

Beyond that, there is more uncertainty and less confidence than usual in the forecast as the longer range guidance remains at odds with each other and with earlier solutions. The zonal flow aloft will give way to a more amplified pattern by the weekend which will bring cooler weather our way. But, the position of the upper level ridge/trough configuration and any associated active weather places us on the fringe of what could be significantly cooler and wetter conditions which will be just east of us. Any shifting of this pattern in either direction could have a significant bearing on what our sensible weather will be like. For that reason, have trended temperatures down through the weekend and maintained at least a slight chance of precipitation at least through Friday to account for some of that uncertainty. Keep in mind, this time period is subject to significant changes which may take another couple of days to get sorted out.

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

Dick Faurot