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    First 100-Degree Temperatures Forecast for Southwest

    April 21, 2012; 5:16 AM ET
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    Temperatures will hit 100 degrees in parts of the Desert Southwest this weekend. Image courtesy of Photos.com

    As the eastern part of the nation cools down from record-breaking temperatures on Monday, the Southwest will begin to heat up for the second half of the week and upcoming weekend.

    A building ridge of high pressure will nose eastward from the Pacific through the end of the week, allowing temperatures to warm nicely west of the Rockies.

    Locations from Los Angeles, Calif., to Salt Lake City, Utah, to Albuquerque, N.M., are expected to experience temperatures 10 to 20 degrees above average by the weekend.

    As the ridge of high pressure strengthens, the heat will push north and east. Residents of the High Plains and Front Range should have temperatures in the 70s and 80s by late in the weekend and early next week.

    In the Desert Southwest, temperatures will crack the 100-degree mark for the first time this year. In fact, many places from Palm Springs, Calif., to Phoenix, Ariz., could experience consecutive days of 100-plus-degree weather.

    The average date of the first 100-degree day in Phoenix, Ariz., is May 13, so the city is getting an early start this year. We will have to wait until the end of the summer to see if the early start allows them to surpass their average of 89 days of 100 degrees or higher.

    A bubble of very warm temperatures is expected this weekend in the West.

    No precipitation is expected through at least the beginning of next week in much of the West.

    This upcoming streak of warmer-than-normal weather follows an above normal start to April in much as well as a very warm March over much of the interior West. However, temperatures over much of the Pacific Coast states averaged below normal.

    While the West basks in the warmth, a cool weather pattern is setting up for the East with plenty of rain.

    By the early part of next week, the warmth may spread eastward into the Plains.

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