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    Warmth Builds in the West This Week, Drought to Worsen

    By By AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Mike Doll
    April 08, 2014, 1:25:40 AM EDT

    The highest temperatures of the spring thus far are expected this week across the West, with some locations experiencing their first day of the year above 90 degrees.

    Unfortunately, this will likely lead to worsening drought conditions across California, where some reservoirs are already at near record-low levels.

    The current drought is three years in the making and the disappointing snow season in the Sierra Range did no favors.

    "Despite the storms of the past month, the latest snow survey shows dismal water locked up in the Sierra snowpack. On average across the state, the snow water equivalent is only 33 percent of average," said AccuWeather.com Western U.S. weather expert Ken Clark.


    Temperatures will be 10-20 degrees above average during the early and middle parts of this week across the West.

    Phoenix, Ariz., has yet to reach 90 degrees this year, but highs there will be well above 90 during the middle part of this week.

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    Parts of Southern California on north into the San Joaquin Valley will likely climb into the 90s early this week.

    The warmth will extend northward into the Northwest and help accelerate the snow melt. While this will cause stream and river levels to rise, significant flooding is not expected.

    Places like Missoula, Mont., and Boise, Idaho, will also experience their warmest day of the year thus far.

    Temperatures will begin to cool a bit during the latter part of the week, as the upper-level ridge of high pressure that will be over the West early next week breaks down.

    An area of low pressure is expected to approach Southern California late in the week. However, moisture with this system will be limited and is not expected to bring meaningful rain, if it does at all.

    An ease in the heat will be welcome for those attending the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival that gets underway next weekend in Indio, Calif.

    After highs in the 90s Monday through Thursday, temperatures will be in the middle 80s on Friday and upper 70s on Saturday. Temperatures at night will dip into the 50s.

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