As you can see from the morning low temperature map on the right, courtesy of the OK Mesonet, we have had a relatively mild start to our day. In fact, this looks to be the first day since Christmas Eve in which temperatures will average out above normal. That makes it a stretch of 12 straight days in which temperatures have been colder than normal. To put this in perspective, we never did have a stretch like that last winter so it has been awhile.
Any snow flurries or light showers that may have occurred early this morning are long gone as the system responsible for that ejects out to the NE. That will leave us with clearing skies later this afternoon, clear skies tonight, and lots of sunshine for Sunday. Our winds will shift around from the SW today to the NW tonight and northerly for Sunday as a weak cool front moves across the state. This is not a particularly strong cold front, but with snow still on the ground in N and Central KS those northerly winds will likely keep us on the chilly side for Sunday. Look for temperatures to top out near 50 today, dropping into the mid 20s tonight, and in the mid 40s for Sunday.
Monday will see our winds quickly return to a southerly direction, become rather gusty and temperatures will respond with daytime highs near 50 after starting off that morning in the 20s. Also, some high level cirrus clouds will be streaming across the state and the optical thickness of those clouds may impede our warm-up to some extent.
After that, there is considerable uncertainty regarding the next storm system that is coming our way. The longer range guidance has shown very little consistency regarding the track, timing, and intensity of this system as it moves from the Pacific across the southern Rockies and out into the Plains. This creates a more low confidence scenario regarding the forecast from Tuesday through Thursday. For now, will go with only a slight chance of showers on Tuesday, our best chance should be on Wednesday, and then hold on to at least a chance of some lingering showers into the day on Thursday. Right now, all indications suggest this will be a liquid event with overnight lows remaining above freezing and daytime highs generally in the 40s to near 50. Again, the timing and amounts of precipitation will get sorted out in the next few days as better data becomes available.
Bottom line is that with the possible exception of tomorrow, this forecast period generally features temperatures running above normal for the first time in nearly two weeks. Of course, this is early January so more cold air will be coming our way; suggest taking advantage of this relatively mild stretch while the opportunity presents itself.
In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.