Longer days are ahead. That’s right. The winter solstice happens this Saturday at 10:19 PM CST. Saturday night is going to be the longest night of the year, and Sunday is the day with the shortest amount of daylight. After Sunday, the days will be slowly getting longer and longer. I and I’m sure a lot of you are looking forward to longer days. But with winter two days away, it’s not going to feel like winter heading into Christmas. After highs have been stuck in the 20s for the first half of the week, a warm up is ahead. That warm up begins today.
Temperatures this morning with mostly clear skies overhead dropped into the teens. Wind chills were slightly improved from yesterday, only dropping into the single digits. Two systems are to thank for the warmer temperatures that lie ahead. An area of high pressure to the southeast, and a warm front that has lifted north of the Stateline. This has brought the return of southerly winds to the region. Winds this morning were a little gusty, which is why the threat for fog significantly decreased. However, winds should subside a bit by later this afternoon, meaning wind chills become less of a factor by sunset. Remember, temperatures yesterday struggled to climb into the low 20s. A southerly wind in place ushers in much warmer air not only at the surface, but aloft as well. That should help our high temps climb into the mid to upper 30s under a partly sunny sky.
Clouds do pull into the Stateline this evening into Friday morning, turning our skies mostly cloudy. Temperatures by early Friday morning only drop into the low 20s, which for mid to late December is considered a bit mild. There is another and much better chance that we could wake up to some fog tomorrow morning. It could be dense in spots, so be sure to plan on giving yourself a few extra minutes during your morning routine. Foggy conditions may longer into the mid to late morning hours.
Southerly to southwesterly flow sticks around for the end of the work week. The only difference between today’s forecast and tomorrow’s forecast is we have a better chance for clouds to stick around during the day. Highs, depending on how much cloud cover we see, should just make it to the 40 degree mark. By this upcoming weekend, the December Thaw as we call it will be fully underway. Highs will once again climb into the low 40s for Saturday, with an even warmer day on tap for Sunday as highs approach 50°. That not all. This warm stretch will most likely continue into Christmas week as an upper-level ridge is forecast to be nearly on top of us by Monday morning.