With an upper level ridge of high pressure in place across Nebraska on Thursday, January 5th - and a surface trough of low pressure which extended from north central into southwestern Nebraska at mid afternoon - unseasonably warm temperatures resulted across our region.
This warmth will be short lived, as a cold front of Canadian origin sweeps south into Nebraska tonight. Much colder temperatures will be the result on Friday, in the wake of this cold front. However even with high temperatures on Friday which warm into the middle and upper 40s, these temperatures will average 7 to 12 degrees above normal for this time of year.
Record high temperatures for January 5th were set in Imperial, North Platte and Valentine, and the record maximum temperature for Broken Bow was tied. Compressional warming ahead of the advancing cold front, along with favorable westerly downslope winds, and a layer of warm air right above the ground, really helped temperatures warm Thursday afternoon to balmy levels.
||High Temperature January 5th
||Record High Temperature Jan. 5th
||Old record 67 degrees in 1935 and 1927
||Old record 65 degrees set in 1930
||Tied record maximum temperature with 1989
||Old record was 70 degrees in 1927
(Surface map positions above, valid at 3 PM CST January 5th, 2012)
Please note in the upper air soundings from the morning of January 5th at North Platte and Rapid City
that a layer of very warm air was indicated right above the surface. Mixing from westerly winds and
compressional warming ahead of the advancing cold front helped realize very unseasonable temperatures region wide.
(Above, the North Platte upper air sounding taken Thursday morning January 5th, 2012)
(Above, the Rapid City upper air sounding taken Thursday morning January 5th, 2012)