Dry and Warmer This Week for California, Southwest US

After rare snow shut down highways and left motorists stranded this past week across parts of the Southwest, some normalcy will return to the region for the first full week of 2015.

"A building ridge of high pressure will cause this week to be dramatically different than last week across the Southwest," said AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.

Areas across southern California including Los Angeles and San Diego as well as areas farther east to Las Vegas and Phoenix will see high temperatures return back to the 60s and 70s by the middle of the week.

"Temperatures will surge about 20 degrees above last week's chilly highs in many places," said Pydynowski.

These temperatures are more in line with normal temperatures for early January across the region.

The cold pattern has brought 10 consecutive days of below-average high temperatures to Los Angeles and Las Vegas going back to around Christmas.

That stretch will be coming to an end though, allowing folks to ditch the winter gear for more typical clothing options through the week.

With high pressure building in, an offshore flow is set to develop which will further help temperatures soar in Southern California.

"The flow should not be strong enough to trigger damaging Santa Ana winds though," said Pydynowski.

A ridge in the jet stream will steer weather systems well to the north, allowing for dry weather and sunshine-filled days this week.

However, parts of the central Valley will have to deal with morning fog as high pressure puts a cap on the atmosphere. Some travel delays are possible from Sacramento to Fresno due to low visibility.

Rain chances will slightly increase towards the end of the week as a weak front approaches northern California. However, high pressure will likely hold tough, reducing any rain to only a few showers at best.