I think the only thing that needs to be said for the forecast for Halloween is that we’re not going to see any snowflakes this time around. That not only makes all the trick or treaters happy, but me as well. It’s too early for 3 inches of snow in my opinion. Last year, Rockford saw it’s snowiest Halloween on record, totaling up to 3.1″ at the Rockford International Airport. Before that, the only measurable snowfall that was observed on the spooky holiday was a whopping 0.1″. But enough about the snow! Let’s talk about the warmer, but windy weather that lies ahead for Halloween this year.
An area of high pressure will help keep the atmosphere very dry overnight Friday into Saturday morning, leading to a sun-filled start. Model guidance continues to show sunshine dominating our skies into the afternoon. However, a warm front associated a strengthening low pressure system up in southern Canada is expected to quickly lift through the region sometime during the early-mid morning hours. Following that warm front, winds at the surface will shift to the south-southwest, pulling in a much warmer air mass. This will allow high temperatures to climb from the upper 40s today to the upper 50s by Saturday afternoon, landing a degree or two above average. For those that are planning to go trick-or-treating, temperatures by the evening will slowly drop into the low 50s. Although we’re not going to be dealing with snow this year, windy are going to be the main focus during trick-or-treat hours.
As a surging cold front draws closer, the pressure in between the front and a high pressure system to the east is going to tighten up. I always like to say, the tighter the pressure gradient, the stronger your wind gusts will be. Wind speeds Saturday afternoon and evening will be sustained between 10-20 mph, with gusts as highs as 35 mph. This will certainly cause problems to any motorists out on the roadways and could blow down any Halloween or other holiday decorations. A cold front pushes through Saturday night bringing in more clouds, but rain is not expected. Winds remain strong following the cold frontal passage, gusting up to 40-45 mph on Sunday. This time, winds will be out of the northwest, bringing down temperatures for the end of the weekend. Highs on Sunday only top out in the low 40s.