Quiet weather returns today and into the work week as high pressure builds back over the state.  Even though we had a cold front move through on Saturday, its effects will be short-lived and we’ll be back up to average to above average temps this afternoon, especially across the western half of the state.  Another cold front will move through tonight and knock temps down across the northern half of the state for Monday, then we’ll warm back up once again by Tuesday.  We will see a few upper level disturbances move overhead this week, but we won’t see much in the way of rain or storm chances until we get into the middle of the week…late Wednesday into Thursday.

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The Climate Prediction Center’s Outlook for this week, published back on January 12th, has us pegged with with probability of seeing normal to above normal temperatures across the state and below normal chances of rain…and it looks like this outlook will verify.  We’ll still see a series of cold fronts across the region this week with temps on a bit of a rollercoaster, but not seeing any signs of a significant arctic airmass arriving.

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The Outlook for next weekend through the end of the month is also trending warmer and drier which I’m sure will have everyone wondering what happened to our El Nino pattern.  It’s still there, but we have to keep in mind that El Nino is just one factor which governs our overall weather patterns.  Another atmospheric pattern we watch closely with respect to arctic air outbreaks is the Arctic Oscillation (AO) which runs in positive and negative phases.  It has been in a strong negative phase recently, which allowed for more cold air to spill south across the US…particularly across the northern plains and the midwest.  It’s forecasted to return to a more neutral phase, which will likely keep the colder polar air dammed up across northern Canada.  As always, these things run in cycles, so we’re sure to see additional chances for cold air and maybe even some wintry mischief before we get into Spring.