The map on the right shows the total moisture measured by the Mesonet rain gauges over the last 24 hours. They may be inflated a bit though as there is potentially some ice melt also included in those totals. Although it may appear to be wet outside, it will not take long for things to dry out as the vegetation remains dormant and sunny skies, warmer temperatures, and gusty winds will quickly result in an enhanced fire danger once again. That is exactly what is expected for Friday as southerly winds of 10-20 mph or more along with temperatures soaring into the 60s will quickly dry things out.
For tonight, clear skies and light southerly winds should keep temperatures from totally bottoming out and most locations should drop into the lower 30s. Still a chilly start and cooler than normal. However, the mid 60s by afternoon will be the first time this month we have had daytime temperatures that were warmer than normal.
Don't get used to it though as another cold front will arrive Friday night followed by brisk northerly winds Saturday, cloudy skies, and periods of rain. Notice the QPF map on the right which is valid through Saturday. As you can see, this system stands to bring as much as ¼" or more of liquid precipitation. And, all indications are that this will be an a liquid event as lows that morning will be well above freezing although afternoon temperatures should only reach the lower 40s. The rain will be moving on eastward Saturday night and will have ended before temperatures drop back below freezing for Sunday morning.
Sunny skies on Sunday and light northerly winds will make for a pretty nice day with afternoon temperatures in the upper 50s. We will also have lots of sunshine on Monday, but gusty SW winds will bring about only the third 70 degree day since the year started. In fact, we should make it well into the 70s that afternoon and some portions of the state may even make it to near the 80 degree mark.
Tuesday is starting to look like a transition day as another cold front will be moving across the state and could result in a rather large temperature gradient by afternoon. Temperatures will likely be falling into the 50s if not the upper 40s behind the front while ahead of the front temperatures will be well into the 70s. So, a huge bust potential exists in the forecast for Tuesday at this time frame. Next several days will fine tune those details.
Same thing applies to Wednesday. Although all the longer range guidance suggests brisk northerly winds and cooler temperatures, there is a huge difference in just how cool and also the precipitation potential. For those of you who watch those things, the trends have been toward a cooler solution so have trended the forecast in that direction although not as cold as the ECMWF would suggest. Also, will currently just show a chance of rain on Wednesday along with the cooler conditions although there are some indications that snow would be a more likely outcome. Right now, that solution appears to be an outlier, but again it will likely be several days before we have a better consensus.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.