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Clear skies and mild temperatures across the region have combined to create another stunning day, thanks to downward-moving air within an expansive high pressure area. Today is an ideal opportunity to take a stroll along the Rock River, go hiking in one of your local forest preserves or even visit Sinnissippi Park for their snow sculpting competition. Daytime Highs With the exception of storms to our south on Monday, this week has seen sunny skies and mild temperatures across our region, courtesy of high pressure staying put over us. That trend should continue today with high pressure remaining firmly positioned over us all. Temperatures will range from the low- to mid 80s in Southern Utah and can drop as far south as northern Utah - significantly milder conditions than are typically experienced during this time of year. Cool temperatures and clear skies can be attributed to a source region of air from northwest Canada that rises high above Earth, condenses into water vapor, then descends back down onto its surface, eventually creating clouds or precipitation. Sunlight is filtered by clouds and diffused less directly onto the surface by cloudy skies, helping to reduce solar radiation reaching ground level and consequently keep temperatures down. This explains why early May temperatures tend to remain relatively mild, with afternoon highs generally between the upper 60's and low/mid 70's. By late May when summer arrives, temperatures will begin rising dramatically. July's average afternoon high temperatures range between the low- to mid-80s F, and approximately 17 days each year when afternoon high temperatures surpass 90 F. Even on these hotter days, however, applying sunscreen to protect skin against sunburns remains essential as unprotected sun exposure can result in serious burns. On Tuesday, a system will nudge north of the region and could bring some rain for later parts of the week, yet temperatures will still continue to increase under mostly sunny skies Thursday and Friday - clouds being the only factor limiting sunshine if present; it is advised to try not be outdoors during its strongest period which occurs around midday if possible. Nighttime Lows Weather forecasters tend to focus on highs and lows when discussing daily temperatures; however, one of the key components in determining whether a day will be mild is what happens at night. Mild temperatures often occur on clear, calm nights when wind does not alter the temperature gradient between surface temperatures and lower atmospheric levels - this phenomenon is known as temperature inversion. Stevensen-Screen effect can occur almost in any kind of weather, though it is most frequent on clear evenings with light winds. The reason behind it is because light winds don't blow enough to stir relatively cold ground-level air into warmer air above. When this happens, two layers combine and raise Stevensen-Screen level which determines what the minimum temperature for that night will be. Normal temperature patterns suggest a drop in night-time temperatures as the sun goes down, cooling off from its afternoon peak, which explains why minimum temperature readings typically appear on weather maps at sunset (for instance 7pm in Atlanta). But if winds don't die down and surface and lower atmospheric temperatures continue rising instead of cooling, that night could become warm instead of cold. Rising overnight temperatures can have serious health repercussions in hot cities. Rising body temperatures keep internal body temps from cooling off after an exhausting, scorching day of work or activities, leading to heat-related problems for older or vulnerable persons and straining power grids as air conditioning units attempt to meet increasing demands for cooling. Risening nighttime temperatures also increase the risk of disease spread by mosquitoes such as Ixodes xylosus - a potentially lethal pest known for breeding rapidly in warm, moist conditions - making rising nighttime temperatures ideal breeding environments. Scientists have long researched how climate change will impact hurricanes, droughts, floods, blizzards and other forms of severe weather events such as hurricanes. A new study in Climatic Change examines its potential effect on mild days; according to their calculations the average number will decline 10-13% by 2100. Winds As we enter into this week, winds are projected to remain light and variable, allowing the sun to shine brightly while temperatures remain warm. Furthermore, due to no winds in higher elevations melting of mountain snowfall should increase river and creek flows but no significant flooding should occur at this time. This week is expected to be relatively dry, however an approaching warm front may bring rain Thursday into Friday accompanied by strong storms that we will closely monitor and provide updates as necessary. These consecutive ideal days with clear skies, cool temperatures and low humidity were due to high pressure settling over northwest Canada. When air rises within such areas it cools off and causes condensation of water vapor, leading to clouds and precipitation; when air moves downward within them however it tends to remain very clear. Look at a weather map, and you will notice that areas of high pressure tend to be flat without surface features causing eddies or swirls; these areas are known as DRY HIGH PRESSURE AREAS; when such an area contains clouds it is known as DIRTY HIGH PRESSURE AREAs, and their presence could be due to orography, PBL saturation with low level fog or middle level stratus or WAA, lifting mechanisms within its region (CAA), or atmospheric stability. Backing Winds- A counterclockwise change in wind direction with height, usually indicative of an unstable atmosphere. After Tuesday's passage of a cold front, temperatures will begin to warm and partly cloudy skies will prevail, with low 60s expected across Southwest and North Central Montana this afternoon. Light south winds are anticipated to pick up through the weekend and early next week. Rain West Virginia continues to enjoy clear skies and warm temperatures this week, but an approaching cold front will bring rain later this week. Rain occurs when airborne moisture condenses to form clouds in the sky, which condense and form rain clouds before dissipating back down as rain, hail or snow. Rain plays an essential part in maintaining our ecosystem by providing plant nourishment, as well as cleansing air quality and providing health benefits. Understanding rainfall is important, and appreciating its beauty. Raindrops pelting the ground provide soothing sounds and sights while their earthy scent known as petrichor can provide relaxation and enjoyment of the natural world around us. Going for a stroll in the rain offers an ideal opportunity to connect with nature while unwinding with yourself. Take time out from daily responsibilities by walking or jogging through its elements! When walking in the rain, focus on breathing deeply while freeing your mind of distractions like thoughts of work or school - let go of distracting thoughts by paying attention to sounds of raindrops hitting ground and breathing deeply whilst taking in petrichor's fresh earthy scent that envelopes us all from within us all - enjoy it all a while walking in it will be truly refreshing experience - an opportunity to refresh and experience nature around us all around you! Even with rain in the forecast, temperatures should remain mild until Friday and into next week. Warm spring-time temperatures will accelerate mountain snowmelt out of higher elevations while swelling rivers and creeks. No flooding is anticipated at this time. An expected cold front will bring rain late Saturday night into Sunday, which should help slow snow melt but may not completely stop it.