A ridge of high pressure over the Southwest has brought much warmer-than-normal temperatures, with 81 F for the high yesterday! However, high pressure will give way to two troughs moving through the Southwest this week. The first trough and associated cold front will move through the Great Basin tonight through Wednesday. Expect very windy weather, with wind gusts up to 40 mph or more, and significant cooling expected by tomorrow. No precipitation is expected with this first system.
The second storm system is forecast for Friday, with much less wind and possibly cooler temperatures. It may tap into a greater amount of moisture, so expect a chance of light rain showers (possibly some wet snow showers above 5,500’ or 6,000’) on Friday. Precipitation amounts will be light, with generally less than 0.25”.
Temperatures will rise back up to near or above normal by early next week.
We had above normal precipitation this past summer through spring, which expected to continue for another month or so, bringing much needed relief from the extended drought conditions of the past two decades. However, we should still expect there to be a fire season again this year. There are a lot of dead grasses left over from last summer’s wetter-than-normal monsoon, and additional grasses are growing, which will dry out during May to June. The dry grasses kindle wildfires (especially during windy conditions). The good news is that the larger fuels will have more moisture content, keeping the threat of wildfires lower in the higher elevation forested areas.