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Calendar says it’s January but ...

Rain or shine, the weather is a common topic of discussion in Nebraska.

But last week when temperatures made it feel more like April than January, lines were long at the automatic car washes in town and windows were open in homes all over Gothenburg.

It’s been unusually warm across the Central Plains since Dec. 10.

Michael L. Moritz, with the National Weather Service office in Hastings, said the average temperature was above normal in 19 of the last 21 days of 2011, a trend that continued into January.

On Thursday, Gothenburg’s forecasted high of 67 was surpassed by five degrees for a new record high.

The previous high was 66 degrees set in 1935.

During most of the fall and continuing through December, a weak La Nina was present.

But despite the spring-like feel, Moritz said it wasn’t the warmest overall December on record and likely won’t be the warmest January either.

In December 1896, the average daily temperature was 35.4 degrees. December 2011 averaged 29.5 degrees.

While temperatures in the 70s aren’t going to stick around, the weather service forecasts warmer than normal temperatures through the first part of January.

This week will be cooler with highs in the upper 30s and lower 40s, still slightly above the 32-degree average.

Weather Forecast

Click for Gothenburg, Nebraska Forecast

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