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Temperatures will be on the rise

Area residents might think spring is in the air when temperatures rise up into the 60s this weekend.

Thursday, December 02, 1999

Area residents might think spring is in the air when temperatures rise up into the 60s this weekend.

But old man winter isn’t on his way out; he just got into town, said Dan Luna, meteorologist for the Charleston, W.Va., bureau of the National Weather Service.

"From a meteorological standpoint, it’s winter," Luna said. "We consider winter to be December, January and February."

But just because it’s the coldest season of the year, that doesn’t mean there are not warm, sunny days left to enjoy, Luna added.

"We’re going to see warm weather this weekend," he said. "It should be in the 60s this weekend. Normal highs are about 51 right now, so we will see temperatures a good 10 degrees above normal."

And 10 degrees above or below normal temperatures is fairly common at this time of year, Luna said.

"All of the record highs are in the 70s or upper 60s throughout the winter," he said. "We can’t say that above-normal temperatures are caused by El Nino or La Nina. These things happen virtually every winter. They may cause more or less of these events to occur, but we should expect to go into the 60s a few times during the winter."

This next temperature increase should stick around for awhile, Luna said.

"I would say in the next seven days, we don’t expect any snowfall at all," he said. "Our next cool air, it doesn’t look like it will come in until Monday night or Tuesday. Even at that point in time, it won’t be as cold as we just saw."

The area won’t see temperatures dropping into the 30s this week, Luna said.

"It looks like 20s during the nights and mid-40s during the day. It should be in the upper 40s all next week through Friday, which is a little above normal. There are no signs of arctic air for the next nine days. Let’s just hope we don’t pay for it in January."

Weather can be a bit unpredictable, however. Trends can change, Luna said.

"That’s why we don’t work on long term forecasts here," he said. "They are just trends, and can change at any time at all."

The recent cold weather spell came down from Canada, and should head back that way later today, Luna said.

"The cold air is moving out today, and the warmer air is moving in late today and continuing through the weekend," he said.

Today should be sunny with highs 53-58 degrees. Clouds might be moving into the area Sunday afternoon or evening and there will be a chance of rain, Luna said.

And although the sunny weather is nice, the area does need a good amount of rain and snow if it will recover from the recent drought conditions, Luna said.

"It’s been below normal as far as rainfall," he said. "What we really need is snowfall. Snow sits on the ground and allows the moisture to soak in gradually. If we don’t get normal snowfall, we could start to spring out in dryer than normal conditions. I wouldn’t say we would spring out in drought conditions, but it is possible."