Winter is on hold from California to the Plains as record warmth will continue to dominate the weather through Thursday.
For the second consecutive day, temperatures will soar 10 to 25 degrees above typical early January highs from California to Montana and the Dakotas today.
Even the neighboring Canadian provinces of southern Alberta and southern Saskatchewan will sit under the high pressure responsible for the warmth.
Today's mild temperatures will not just have residents leaving their winter jackets at home today, but will also challenge record highs in many communities.
Such cities include Billings, Mont., and Rapid City, S.D., where temperatures will approach or crack the 60-degree mark today. Average highs are in the mid-30s this time of year.
It is a sure bet that high temperatures in Las Vegas and Reno, Nev., will come within a few degrees of records this afternoon.
Downtown Los Angeles will fall short of setting a record, but several nearby locations are on pace to do so. Riverside is one of these communities, which already started 2012 with two consecutive days of record warmth.
Thursday will be a near repeat of today in terms of warmth across the Southwest, while more of the nation's midsection turns milder.
Several additional cities in the northern and central Plains will get an opportunity to challenge records on Thursday. This includes Fargo, N.D.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; and Omaha, Neb.
"Get outside while you can however, since the warmth won't last long," advises AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Mark Miller to mild temperature-loving residents of the northern and central Plains.
"A cold front will push through the region on Friday, sending temperatures back to reality."
The warmth will then be forced to the currently shivering East Coast.
Temperatures will also return to more seasonable levels across Southern California on Friday as a cool onshore flow from the Pacific Ocean resumes.
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