Another Freeze Warning has been issued for all of northern Illinois beginning at Midnight and lasting until 8am Wednesday. Incoming high pressure has allowed our skies to clear from the thick cloud cover Tuesday morning, leaving us with a mostly clear sky Tuesday evening. Winds have been rather brisk from the northwest, at times gusting to 30 mph, but the wind speeds should subside some as the center of the high moves closer to the Stateline. Temperatures will fall as the sun sets, down into the low 30s by Wednesday morning. We may see a little more cloud cover sneak in Wednesday morning across southern Wisconsin and far northern Illinois and that could limit how far temperatures fall in those locations. Patchy frost is also possible, but doesn’t appear to be too widespread.

The month of April has been an overall cool month, averaging a monthly temperature around 45 degrees. This is nearly three degrees below the monthly average for this time in April. There have been a total of 18 days that have been below average, with only eight days at or above.

The cooler than normal pattern may stick around through the beginning of May as longer range outlooks favor a higher probability for below average temperatures, average highs for the beginning of May should be in the mid 60s, as well as a higher probability for above average precipitation.

It’s typically this time of the year when our fields begin to be filled with farmers prepping for Spring planting, but the fields have been fairly bare with the recent cold and wet pattern. While we need the rain, it isn’t the most ideal when temperatures don’t warm with it. Soil temperatures of 50 degrees, or higher, are a good base line for when to start planting. Soil temperatures have been at or slightly above the 50 degrees mark, but it still hasn’t been warm or dry enough.

As for precipitation, we’ve made a fairly decent dent in the dry conditions across northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin but the long-term drought from 2021 still persists. We will need several more rainy periods to help make up the deep soil moisture we lost last year. The outlook into the month of May favors the more rainy period, across much of the country! We do have a few light shower chances in the days to come, but no one day looks to be a washout. The first of those showers appears to move in by late Wednesday afternoon, and then remaining scattered throughout Thursday.