Temperatures the last few days have been more than 20°F above normal throughout the Central and Northern Plains, and and 10°F to 15°F above normal across the western U.S.
High temperatures have been running 18°F to 25°F above normal from Oklahoma north to the Dakotas and Montana. Low temperatures have been 10°F to 25°F above normal across the same area.
High temperatures yesterday were in the upper 70s and low 80s in Oklahoma and Kansas and in the low 70s as far north as South Dakota. Hard to believe it's late January. There were 138 max temp records broken and 24 tied on January 26, and more were likely recorded on January 27 but weren't yet available at the time of this writing.
|Maximum temperatures for January 27, 2015.|
The reason for the warm weather is a strong upper level ridge over the western U.S., a complement to the trough over the eastern U.S. associated with the nor'easter. The ridge trough pattern is clearly evident in this water vapor satellite image from January 27.
|Water vapor image at 6:45 a.m. CST January 27, 2015|
Residents of the Central and Northern Plains should enjoy the warm weather while it lasts, because it wont last long. A surge of cold air will spread south across the Plains and Midwest this weekend, and by early next week it will definitely feel like it's February.
|The 6 to 10 day outlook issued on January 28 for the period February 3-7, 2015.|