It’s pretty unusual to walk outside in the dawning days of January and need only but a light jacket in southwestern North Dakota where the usually frigid winds and snow whip and sear at the skin this time of year.

The U.S. National Weather Service of Bismarck foresees a continuing trend of the warmer temperatures for the remainder of this week and into next week’s forecast. Meteorologist Jeff Schild predicts a warmer January compared to previous years.

“We are running above normal. Our highs here for the Dickinson area looks like for the remainder of the week (in) the lower 40s here… It looks like we could have highs and thereafter, we will still see highs in the mid to upper 30s,” Schild said. “With that said, our normal value for today is 26 degrees. So we are running a fair amount above normal.”

Wednesday during the daytime appears that it will be sunny, with a high near 41 — light and variable wind becoming west around 6 mph in the morning hours. Wednesday night looks partly cloudy with a low around 20 degrees and a south wind from 6 to 9 mph, gusting as high as 18 mph. Thursday will be mostly cloudy with a high of 39 degrees — a south wind of 6 to 10 mph and gusts as high as 21 mph. For Thursday evening, the U.S. National Weather Service is anticipating mostly cloudy and a low around 20 degrees with a southwest wind around 6 mph becoming northwest in the evening.

“It does look like we could possibly stay on the warm side at least through mid-January. There may be some changes coming in as we get into the later part of January. But for now, indications are we should stay on the warm side,” Schild noted.

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Moving into the weekend, Friday looks partly sunny, with a high near 36 and a northwest wind of 6 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Friday evening is predicted to be partly cloudy with a low around 15 degrees, and a north wind of around 6 mph. Saturday afternoon looks mostly sunny and a temperature high of 35 degrees, a northwest wind of 6 to 9 mph, gusting as high as 18 mph. Saturday night will cool down to 15 degrees, with partly cloudy conditions and a west wind of 6 to 9 mph. Sunday will warm up as high of 37 degrees with mostly sunny conditions and a west wind of 9 to 13 mph — with gusts as high as 23 mph. Sunday evening looks to drop to a low of around 15 degrees with a west wind of around 10 mph and partly cloudy conditions.

Precipitation for the southwestern North Dakota area looks fairly dry for the upcoming weeks, Schild remarked.

“At least through the middle of next week, it’s a pretty quiet forecast. We do have a few weaker systems that do move through from time to time that may bring a little bit of snow here and there. But all in all, it looks to be a mainly dry forecast,” he said.

Next week, Monday is projected to be mostly sunny with a high near 37 degrees, a west wind of 8 to 14 mph, with gusts nearing 24 mph. Schild said that it’s too soon to tell how the rest of the winter will play out, but so far, projections appear to be above normal temperatures.

“If we continue on this trend, yeah. But it’s hard to tell once we get further in. When it really comes down to it, we have a large chunk of winter gone already in the rearview mirror. So even if we do get cold, it will not be too long of a period and spring will be here,” Schild said. “So we have to appreciate what we’ve got so far.

“We’re just in a persistent weather pattern that keeps us with milder temperatures.”

Schild added that while the mild temperatures are here, it’s important to embrace them and get outside.