Temperatures both Saturday and Sunday warmed well above average, reaching the low to mid 60s area wide. Saturday’s high in Rockford reached 61 degrees, and then 66 degrees on Sunday. Monday will be another unseasonably warm afternoon, but big changes come in the form of a pattern change that’ll bring temperatures back down below average through the middle of the month.
Filtered sunshine for much of Sunday afternoon occurred thanks to cirrus clouds moving in with the arrival of an upper level ridge. Those clouds will remain through Sunday evening, but we should begin to see skies clear during the overnight and Monday morning. Winds will continue from the south through much of the night which will hold temperatures in the mid 40s. The wind will still make it feel chilly Monday morning, but this will help springboard us back into the mid 60s Monday afternoon. Cloud cover will increase again as a cold front approaches from the northwest Monday afternoon and evening.
A sprawling ridge of high pressure over the Southeast will continue to block most of the moisture from the Gulf of Mexico from making it this far north. As a result, the cold front will most likely come through dry. Temperatures Monday night remain mild, holding steady in the mid and upper 40s, topping out close to 60 degrees Tuesday afternoon. There will be a few more clouds around during the day Tuesday, along with a small chance for a quick light shower or two during the late afternoon and evening as an upper level disturbance moves through. Temperatures will then settle back near average Wednesday and Thursday, but a larger storm system Thursday will bring temperatures back down by the end of the week and weekend.
A strong low will develop over the Texas panhandle, quickly lifting through the Plains and into Iowa Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Gusty southerly winds will occur ahead of a cold front Wednesday night and Thursday, bringing widespread rain showers across the region through Thursday afternoon. The cold front will then move through Thursday evening, transitioning winds back to the northwest and ushering in a much cooler air mass Thursday night and Friday.
This will cause temperatures to turn sharply downward, falling from the 50s early Thursday afternoon into the 30s Thursday night, and only to the low 40s Friday. Most of the rain will have wrapped up with the passage of the cold front Thursday, but a few wrap-around showers, possibly mixed in with a few snowflakes, may occur during the day Friday, and then again Sunday. No accumulations are expected. High temperatures over the weekend may struggle to make it much above 40 degrees both next Saturday and Sunday.