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As expected the SOI (southern oscillation index) is on the rise. That means the big warm-up is coming along right on schedule. Here's today's SOI reading at -4.42. That's up sharply from two days ago when it was as low as -21. It's also well above the 30 day average of -12.04.

I pay attention to this because it's a great heads up that a ridge is building over the eastern United States that's usually aligned with a deep trough over the west. The ridge trough couplet ensures a rich southwest flow aloft that transports warmth and moisture northward into the Midwest. Here's the 500mb jet stream flow Monday.

Here's the highs on Monday that soar into the 80s in many places.

Tuesday is even warmer and looks to be the warmest day of the event with highs into the mid 80s as far north as Minneapolis.

Going into next weekend the western trough has still not ejected from the Plains so above normal readings remain intact.