That week long cool spell at the end of March brought the average temperature for the month down to just over one degree above normal. March was also quite dry with only 1.00" total rainfall, and the month of April is getting off to a very warm, dry start as well. Not only that, but with strong southerly winds developing today and especially on Sunday, there will be a very high fire danger. As you can see from the map on the right, many counties in our state are under a burn ban and even for those counties that are not, this will be no time to burn anything.
Temperatures today will be in the upper 70s to near 80 under sunny skies and southerly winds will be increasing to 10-20 mph this afternoon. Gusty southerly winds will continue through the overnight hours which will keep temperatures quite mild and we will start Sunday morning some 20 degrees warmer than we were this Saturday morning. Sunday afternoon will also have lots of sunshine, even stronger southerly winds on the order of 20-35 mph with gusts possibly near 40, and temperatures in the 80s. Higher dew point temperatures will keep the relative humidity in the 40% range, but with the strength of the winds there will still be a very high danger of any fires quickly getting out of control.
A rather strong cold front now looks to be moving through after midnight Sunday night so that Monday will have gusty northerly winds and much cooler temperatures. In fact we will likely stay in the 50s through the day Monday along with mostly cloudy skies. There will also be a chance of showers/storms late Sunday night and Monday along and behind the cold front. Some of those storms could become severe.
It now appears that Tuesday morning will start clear and cold with possibly some frost in the cooler valley locations. That will be followed by a quick rebound under sunny skies and a return to brisk southerly winds. Gusty southerly winds and warmer conditions are then expected for the rest of the week which also means additional fire weather concerns.
Along about Friday or Saturday will be our next chance for some showers or storms, and right now it appears those will also be on a scattered basis. That means we still do not see any widespread, drought breaking rainfall for the state through this forecast period.
As always, stay tuned and check back for updates.