Temperatures this afternoon were quite a bit cooler than they were yesterday before the cold front came through. Many spots reached the upper 50s, compared to the mid-70s yesterday. Some sunshine this afternoon helped to make it feel a bit warmer, but the rest of the weekend will be far from warm!

Starting with tonight, some spots could drop down into the low-30s. Here in Rockford, lows reach 34° as we will see a mix of clouds and clearing. We could see a few spotty showers early on, but we should remain dry most of the night.

Jo Daviess and Stephenson Counties are under a FREEZE WARNING from 1AM until 9AM Saturday morning. Here, the forecast lows could reach the upper 20s in a few spots. Make sure to take precautions to protect any outdoor plants from the cold!

Tomorrow will be another cool day as highs will be stuck in the mid-40s. We will see a lot more cloud cover, as winds pick up a bit from the West Northwest. Rain chances persist throughout the day, with a few snowflakes possible as well.

Rain and snow showers will be widely scattered, starting early in the day. A few snow showers are more likely early in the day as temperatures are a bit on the cool side to start, but widely scattered rain showers are possible throughout the day. Graupel is also possible, as there might be just enough of an updraft to produce some of that precipitation type. Graupel looks like soft hail, think Dippin’ Dots!

We are still quite cold through the weekend, as some overnight lows through the weekend could drop down near the freezing mark, especially across our Western counties. A FREEZE WATCH is in effect for both Saturday and Sunday nights for Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Carroll, and Whiteside Counties.

While this weekend will be quite a bit below normal, we will start the warming trend early next week, reaching the 50s and 60s by the middle to end of the week. Normal high temperatures this time of year are closer to the low and mid-60s.

The rest of the month going into the first week of May looks cold again, with below normal temperatures expected between the next 8-14 days, per the Climate Prediction Center outlook.

Below normal temperatures are the main story for the entire week ahead, with very few chances for rain. We will see some rain and snow showers tomorrow, and then might see a small chance for rain late Monday, but we are dry otherwise until at least Thursday.