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After a miserable day Wednesday, the weather is looking up around the Midwest, especially this weekend when sunshine will bring a well deserved warm-up.

On the topic of sun, the days have been getting longer for nearly 4 months. The extended daylight and more direct rays have boosted our average high to nearly 60. The fact of the matter is, if you can get the sun out chances are you're going to reach the 50s. Throw in a stiff south wind and a 70 degree day is easily attainable.

If the air is dry, incredible temperature swings can occur. Take a look at last April 3rd here in Cedar Rapids, the day started at 25 degrees and by late afternoon had risen 55 degrees to a high of 80! Similar swings occur in the fall. The all-time 24 hour temperature spread of 63 degrees was registered in Cedar Rapids when the low was 22 and the high later peaked at 85. Try dressing for that!

While nothing as dramatic is in our future we do have a big jump coming after lows Friday morning dip below freezing. Here's a sampling of what the hi-res NAM is forecasting.

The high pressure producing the cold advances east and by Saturday a brisk south winds kicks in. Below you can see the tight pressure gradient that encompasses the Midwest by Saturday evening.

It will be blustery but that winds transport the warmth northward. Rest assured temperatures are going to take off with a 500mb jet stream flow that looks like this on Sunday.

Here's what the EURO is showing for highs both Saturday and Sunday.

Here's Sunday's temperature anomaly. Much of my area would be 20 degrees above normal.

One thing I will be watching is the potential for late weekend thunderstorms. At the time of this post the Storm Prediction Center has much of Iowa and NW Missouri included in a severe risk Sunday.

Early indications are that this would be more of a squall line situation for my local area that would probably hold off until Sunday night. Hopefully by then storms would be in a weakening phase (if they even develop). There's plenty of time to weigh in on the situation in coming days.

Anyway, after a cool breezy Thursday there's finally some good weather to look forward to this weekend. Bring it on. Roll weather...TS

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