The latest drought monitor shows severe drought conditions now expanding across much of northern Illinois for the end of September, with extreme drought conditions over northeast McHenry and Lake counties in northeast Illinois.
Rainfall was hard to come by during the month of September, really for much of the year, with just a little over half an inch of rain being recorded in Rockford, placing us at the 7th driest September on record. The driest September was back in 1979 when only 0.05 inches of rain fell.
Year to date precipitation has been just a little over 16 inches, where normally we should be right around 30 inches through the beginning of October. Skies will once again remain dry for Friday with highs reaching the mid and upper 80s. The record high for today is 90 degrees set back in 1971 – it’s possible we could come very close to that this afternoon. Cloud cover will increase during the afternoon, turning partly to mostly cloudy by the evening. As a cold front nears from the northwest during the day Saturday rain showers will increase in coverage, especially mid to late morning and afternoon.
The heaviest axis of rain is expected to remain south of I-80 where totals could come close to an inch. Further north it looks like totals will be a little on the lesser end, between a quarter to half an inch. While not a washout for either day, Saturday and Sunday, you may need to plan some indoor activities during the times of the rain. Instability remains low throughout the weekend but an isolated rumble of thunder can’t be ruled out, especially Saturday afternoon and evening.
Showers may linger a little Monday as low pressure passes to the east, and then south. Depending on how long the low will remain cut-off from the jet stream, and how long it remains to the south will help determine how much cloud cover we see, as well as if we’ll see any rain showers continue into next week. Highs throughout next week will remain in the low 70s.