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    Western Warmth Surges Early This Week

    By By: Mark Miller, meteorologist
    April 24, 2012, 3:23:52 AM EDT

    While winterlike chill is bearing down on the East, summerlike warmth continues to surge across the majority of the West.

    If you have outdoor plans over the next several days, you're in luck.

    Temperatures across the West will be building to well above-average levels over the next several days. High temperatures in some places will be 10-20 degrees above average.

    In fact, many record highs will be challenged or broken today.

    Places like Great Falls and Billings, Mont., will shatter records today. The forecast high temperature of 88 degrees in Great Falls will break the previous record of 80 set back in 1974.

    Even Seattle is forecasted to break the previous record high for the date of 72 set back in 1977.

    A pattern change resulting in the jet stream shifting well to the north in western Canada has allowed for increasing amounts of sunshine and building warmth for the Pacific Northwest, Desert Southwest and the Rocky Mountains.


    According to Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, "Temperatures in much of California, Washington and Oregon have been averaging 1 to 3 degrees below normal since March 1. Farther inland over the West, temperatures have trended to and above normal."

    Some of the warmest locations over the next few days will be in southeastern California, southwestern Arizona, parts of the Pacific Northwest and the northern Rockies.

    Some thermometers in the Desert Southwest will near the century mark or even eclipse it.

    The incredible warmth will continue to simmer, with widespread highs in the 70s and 80s and 90s. As the week progresses, the core of the warmth will shift into the Plains.


    The unseasonable warmth will make a for a great opportunity to get outside, do some yard work, go for a jog, or just get some fresh air in the bright sunshine.

    The building warmth will also set the stage for some spotty thunderstorms in the Cascades, Sierra Nevada, and the central Rockies. Most of the storms that develop will be short-lived and will not become severe. However, storms can produce frequent lightning and gusty winds.

    Stormy and wet weather could be on the table later this week so enjoy the early taste of summer while it lasts.

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