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Warmth to precede new train of storms in western US next week

Warmth and dry weather will set up over much of the western United States ahead of a new train of storms set to begin later next week.

The last gasps of moisture from the caboose in the most recent storm train will produce showers and locally gusty winds in part of the Southwest states this weekend.

Static US Weekend

Break from the storms to last through first half of next week

Dry air will build over much of the region and will allow road crews and property owners to clean up the damage from the storms thus far this winter.

The break in the storms will allow travel to be easier, when compared to recent weeks in the West.

Since the air settling in is not abnormally cold to begin with, sunshine will help to warm the air further, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Jim Andrews.

Static US ENW

"Where a breeze develops and helps to mix the air, temperatures have the potential to challenge record highs," Andrews said. "Some of the places that have a chance at record highs next week include the eastern slopes of the Rockies."

Next week, temperatures are forecast to rebound into the 60s in Denver.

Another zone where temperatures will spike will be in coastal Southern California on Sunday, due to a Santa Ana wind event. Temperatures will climb into the 70s on Sunday into Monday.

Although records are not likely to be broken in Salt Lake City and Seattle, highs will be in the 50s on multiple days next week.

The warm pattern will be spurred on by a large northward bulge in the jet stream across the western U.S. and Canada next week.

The jet stream is a fast river of air at the level in the atmosphere where jets cruise at.

Pacific storms with heavy rain and snow to return later next week

During the second half of next week, the jet stream will collapse southward.

As this happens, temperatures will trend downward and moisture from the Pacific Ocean will again flow toward the West Coast.

As the pattern evolves during the second half of February, the storms may again become potent enough to renew rounds of flooding rain, heavy mountain snow and gusty winds.

The next batch of rain may reach coastal areas of the Northwest by the middle of next week. However, it may not be until the end of next week or next weekend before the first strong storm system moves in.

The relentless storms from late this past fall to this point of the winter have dismantled the drought across northern California and have greatly reduced the long-term drought in Southern California, according to the United States Drought Monitor.

Less than 1 percent of California remains in extreme drought as of Feb. 7.

Since the middle of November, rainfall and mountain snowfall has averaged 150 to 300 percent of normal in California. The rainfall has filled reservoirs and allowed officials to release water for the first time in years.

"The dam at Lake Oroville, north of Sacramento, California, has been operating in crisis mode," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark. The lake was at nearly full capacity on Thursday, Feb. 9, and may overflow for the first time on record, Clark added.

The main spillway was damaged from storms this winter.

Static Oroville Reservoir damage

Excess water release has damaged the spillway at the Oroville Reservoir Dam this winter. This photo was taken on Feb. 7, 2017. (Kelly M. Grow/California Department of Water Resources)

Current flow over the main spillway is adding to the damage, according to KQED. Further damage could result if the adjacent emergency spillway has to be opened in order to lower the lake level.

"The break in the stormy pattern will slow the flow of water into the lake and may lend some hope to authorities trying to manage the problem," Clark said. "However, with more storms to come this winter and snowmelt this spring, there may be more problems ahead for this lake and others."

It has rained every day from Feb. 1-10 in San Francisco and all but one day during the same period in Sacramento.