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10-Day Outlook: Warm & Dry...

Josh Larson @ 1:00 AM

Today's Forecast

Today's forecast calls for partly to mostly sunny skies with above-normal temperatures, which will reach, or eclipse, the 70 degree mark in most locations. Mostly clear and mild overnight, with lows in the mid to upper 40s.

Pictured above: A cherry blossom sunset at the Jefferson Monument on Wednesday; by photographer, Kevin Ambrose.

Pattern Overview

After ten days of below normal temperatures and exceptionally dry weather, for the next ten days we'll hold onto continued dryness, but we'll see an extended period of above-normal temperatures develop. Unlike much of the past ten days, when the flow of air aloft was out of the Northwest, in general, we can expect a more southerly or southwesterly flow over the next five days, which will bring temperatures some 6-8 degrees above normal for the period today through next Monday.

Thereafter, there are some model indications that a weak trough may once again build into the Great Lakes or Northeast, moderating temperatures just a bit, though they'll likely still remain at above normal levels. Thus, for the period next Tuesday through the Saturday, we can expect temperatures some 3-5 degrees above normal.

As for our developing drought, the US Drought Monitor currently places most of our area in the "abnormally dry" category; however, in a much more foreboding sign, their experimental short-term drought indicator forecast(at right) suggests the potential for "severe" (D3) to "extreme" (D4) drought conditions to develop over the coming months.

While the GFS forecast model predicts nearly .90" of rain to fall over the next 7 days, at least the four most recent precipitation "events" have brought significantly less precipitation to our area than was forecast by the models -- on the order of 0-25% of the forecast amount. Thus, it is said that drought feeds drought and I'm afraid our abnormally dry conditions will only continue to get worse over the coming weeks.

The next 5 days (Mar 30 - Apr 3)

Forecast highs/lows: 69/48 (normal = 61/42)
Forecast precip: much below normal

After today's mild highs near 70, expect even milder temperatures on Friday, with the continuation of mostly sunny skies; highs will make it into the low to mid 70s in most spots! A storm system to our west may bring a few sprinkles or showers to the area Friday night, under mostly cloudy skies; expect very mild lows in the mid 50s. Saturday will feature morning clouds and a stray shower, giving way to a mostly sunny afternoon with highs near 70 and overnight lows in the upper 40s. Sunday will feature mostly sunny skies with highs in the upper 60s; Monday will feature an increase in clouds with a slight chance of late day or evening showers, and a high again in the upper 60s, with overnight lows in the upper 40s.

The following 5 days (Apr 4-8)

Forecast highs/lows: 66/48 (normal = 63/43)
Forecast precip: much below normal

It is likely that temperatures over the following five days will drop off just a bit compared to over the first five days of the outlook period, but they're still likely to remain at above normal conditions. Chances for precipitation may increase slightly during this time, too, but most modeling suggests a high probability for continued drier than normal conditions. We'll probably experience partly to mostly sunny skies during much of the period, with high temperatures from 60-70, and overnight lows mostly from the mid 40s to low 50s. Chances for precipitation are highest towards the end of the week -- by Friday and Saturday.

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