It was yet another bright and sunny day across the Stateline, as temperatures made their way into the mid-70s. Afternoon highs were very close to average for this time of year, but dew points remained a little lower, which will lead to temperatures dropping just as quickly as they rise tonight. Clear skies and dry air will help air temperatures to fall through the 60s and 50s before reaching the mid-40s as the overnight low tonight. Winds will remain light as skies stay clear.
The rest of the weekend keeps up the warm and dry pattern, with highs reaching the upper 70s and low 80s Saturday and Sunday respectively. Memorial Day looks to be the warmest day of the holiday weekend, with highs reaching the mid-80s. No rain is expected, so this is a perfect forecast for any outdoor plans!
A little bit of moisture breaks off from the low-pressure system from the Carolinas and moves closer to us by Monday. As a result, we will see a little more cloud cover toward the end of the holiday weekend. The good news is that we will remain rain-free at least through Monday, as there will be a lack of forcing aloft to cause any of that aforementioned moisture to fall out of the sky as precipitation. We may see a couple very isolated showers Tuesday through Thursday due to the warmer afternoons, but these showers would be very short-lived and extremely spotty in coverage.
Even if we see some rain next week, it likely will not add up to much in the grand scheme of things. The Rockford airport has recorded less than 2 inches of rain so far in the month of May, which is nearly an inch and a half below where we should be. Meanwhile, we are still running at a surplus for the year-to-date rainfall. However, if we remain dry throughout the end of next week, that surplus will also turn into a deficit.
This lack of rain is not the greatest news for developing drought conditions. The recent drought monitor from the National Integrated Drought Information System and Climate Prediction Center is highlighting areas to the Southeast of Rockford that are beginning to develop drought conditions. Locations near the Chicago Metro area are within a Level 1 Moderate Drought, while surrounding areas are within Abnormally Dry Conditions, which indicates a drought could be developing there.
Precipitation over longer-term does not look very promising, per the report from the Climate Prediction Center. It is favoring below average precipitation for roughly the first week of June.
Meanwhile, the outlook also favors above normal temperatures to last into the first week of June as well. This prevailing warm and dry pattern would soon spell troubles for farmers and other agricultural workers.
At least for the holiday weekend, we can enjoy the summer-like warmth and sunshine to kick off the unofficial start to the season. Temperatures rise into the 80s Sunday and stay there through the entire week, with even a few highs in the 90s possible toward the second half of the week.