Temperatures for many Sunday afternoon have struggled to make it much above 70 degrees thanks to an abundance of cloud cover. The high officially in Rockford only reached 71 degrees late Sunday morning, falling short of the average high of 79 degrees. For many, Sunday afternoon felt more like an early October day, rather than early September.

While the clouds may thin for some during the evening, expect skies to remain mostly cloudy Sunday night with temperatures holding in the low 60s. Highs for Labor Day will also remain below average, in the mid to upper 70s.

The clouds Sunday have been the result of an area low pressure spinning downstate bringing widespread showers and thunderstorms to central and southern Illinois. We have had some drizzle from time to time, but any accumulating rainfall is expected to remain to our south. The chance for drizzle/sprinkles will continue into the evening Sunday, as the cloud cover remains during the afternoon Labor Day.

Wind around low pressure flows counter-clockwise, which has given us a breezy northeast wind for much of the afternoon. The combination of the wind and cloud cover is what helped keep temperatures below average Sunday. But, why the thick cloud cover? The counter-clockwise flow around the low has helped to pull moisture into the lower levels of the atmosphere to its north, limiting the amount of dry air from above being able to work down towards the surface. Just above the surface, the temperature and dew point temperature are nearly identical – meaning full saturation. With little dry air being able to work through the highly saturated environment, the clouds have no where to go.

This set-up also looks to carry over into Monday, although by Monday evening we should be able to see the cloud cover break a little further as high pressure moves closer to the southern Great Lakes Monday night and Tuesday. Temperatures are expected to remain below average Monday, with highs in the mid 70s, before reaching close to 80 degrees Tuesday.