A Look at Soil Temperatures, Warmer Weather on the Way.

Wednesday, March 30th 2011, 3:23 pm
By: News On 6

A look at the soil temperature map on the right shows the effect of how much the recent, very cool weather conditions have changed soil temperatures. These are the temperatures as of this afternoon at a depth of 4" under sod. This time last week, those numbers were in the 60s.

With April right around the corner, warmer temperatures will be quickly returning, particularly for this coming weekend. Strong southerly winds will also be returning over the weekend and together with very warm, dry conditions will lead to a dangerous fire weather situation, particularly on Sunday.

Between now and then, the clouds and northerly winds will keep us in the 40s to near 50 today. Despite the clouds, the only chance of showers will be a very slight one for today and Thursday. By early Thursday morning, we may even start to see a few breaks in the cloud cover and we do expect at least some sunshine during the day. Together with light winds, that means a very cold night tonight with temperatures dropping back into the 30s, but still above freezing. A more S to SW wind during the day Thursday will produce a nice rebound with afternoon highs close to normal for a change.

Friday will see even more sunshine and a SW wind shifting back to northerly during the afternoon. Despite the wind shift, temperatures should make it above normal as highs are expected to be in the 70s that afternoon. Saturday will also have lots of sunshine but with a NE wind to start the day, it will get off to a very cool start. SE winds to end the day should get us back into the 70s.

Then, there is Sunday. Everything continues to point toward a very windy, dry day with mostly sunny skies and temperatures likely making it into the 80s. That will result in a very high fire danger situation.

We are getting conflicting signals regarding early next week. The longer range guidance has been flipping around for the last several days now and another flip took place today. That creates additional uncertainty regarding that time frame and a low confidence forecast. At this time, it appears that a stronger cool front will be moving across the state at some time during the day Monday, the timing could vary from early morning to late that afternoon. At any rate, it now appears that much cooler conditions and chances for showers or thunder can be expected to follow this system for Tuesday. Again, the timing and intensity of this system has been flipping around on the computer progs over the last few days, so this is certainly subject to change again.

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

Dick Faurot