Finally, some encouraging weather news.
The Tri-Cities is likely in for a snowy day Friday and some possible slick roads Saturday morning.
But then temperatures should start to warm.
The National Weather Service predicts that temperatures should be near normal or above normal in the Tri-Cities this month, after a bitterly cold January.
Friday morning, Tri-City residents may wake up to less than an inch of snow on the ground, according to the weather service.
By 4 p.m. another one to three inches may cover the ground. The chance of precipitation is 80 percent, with temperatures cold enough for snow, possibly mixed with sleet, to fall.
Students can check for any school bus route changes, delays and closures at bit.ly/snowdelays.
A wintery mix of snow, freezing rain and rain is forecast to start the weekend.
By Sunday highs should be back in the 40s and stay there at least through Tuesday, according to the weather service. Any precipitation Saturday through Tuesday should fall as rain, according to early forecasts.
1 degree coldest January temperature in Kennewick, Jan. 13
0 degrees coldest January temperature in Richland, Jan. 13
– 8 degrees coldest January temperature in Pasco, Jan. 5
Even if highs through early next week are still a little below normal, they will be a dramatic change from January.
Last month high temperatures averaged just 28.1 degrees at the Pasco airport and low temperatures averaged just 14.8 degrees. Overall, temperatures were about 13.4 degrees below normal.
Compare that to possible temperatures for this month.
If temperatures are only just average and not higher than normal, highs should be about 49 degrees and lows almost 29 degrees, according to the weather service.
While January was cold, it was not a record setter for the Tri-Cities, based on weather service data for Kennewick that shows an average temperature of 12.3 in 1930.
At Hanford January 2017 was the sixth coldest month on record, according to data collected at the Hanford Meteorological Station back to 1945.
Two new daily temperature records were set at the Hanford met station last month, both on Jan. 13.
The high of 9 degrees was colder than the record cold high of 10 degrees set in 1950, and the low of minus 7 was colder than the record low of minus 4 most recently recorded in 1993.
In addition, the low of minus 4 on Jan. 12 tied for the record low for the date.
13.4 degrees below normal January Pasco temperatures this year
12.5 degrees below normal January Richland temperatures this year
11.8 degrees below normal January Kennewick temperatures this year
January was an unusually snowy month, but does not appear to have set Tri-City or Hanford records.
Snowfall in Kennewick totaled 15.3 inches, but January 1969 saw 29 inches. Snow was the deepest last month on Jan. 11, with 11 inches on the ground.
Here’s more information on weather for the month just ended:
▪ The coldest day of last month in the Tri-Cities was Jan. 5, with a low of minus 8 recorded at the Pasco airport. The temperature was in the 40s last month at the airport on only one day, Jan. 19.
▪ Precipitation for the water year, which starts in October, is above normal for the Tri-Cities. The measurement at the airport was 4.72 for four months, which is about a half inch above normal.
▪ The peak wind gust for the month in Richland was 47 mph on Jan. 27. But in Pasco the peak wind gust was just 29 mph, recorded on Jan. 10. The Hanford Meteorology Service reported the month was less windy than usual for January.
▪ Hanford has had at least 6 inches of snow on the ground for 24 days, although not consecutively. It’s far from the 43 days recorded in the winter of 1992-93.