Mother nature really brought a forecast to smile about over the weekend, with temps in the mid-upper 50s, and plenty of sunshine. For those that woke up bright and early this morning, a beautiful sunrise welcomed the day ahead. Skies were mostly clear for a majority of the overnight hours, before a deck of high clouds hovered in from the west. Thus creating the perfect conditions for this morning’s sunrise. Although warmer temperatures are on tap for our area today and tomorrow, it does come with a chance for showers.
The rest of the morning features cloud cover thickening up turning our skies mostly cloudy for the second half of the day. Despite mostly cloudy skies, dry conditions linger through the early afternoon. A few stray showers cannot be ruled out during the afternoon, but the best chance for rain is later in the evening. As of this morning, a warm front is draped across the Midwest, including far southern Illinois.
This warm front is set to lift northward overnight Monday into early Tuesday, bringing with it the threat for strong to severe storms. Thunderstorm activity during the pre-sunrise hours tomorrow could bring the threat for large hail, especially along and southeast of Interstate 88. As of a result, the Storm Prediction Center has placed a marginal risk, or level 1 of 5, for areas south and southeast of the Rockford area. This does stretch southeastward through the Chicago metro, and into portions of northern Indiana.
Following the early morning storm activity, temperatures Tuesday afternoon manage to get into the low to mid 70s. This will be the first time that the Rockford International Airport records a 70° high this year, and first since the beginning of last October. Tomorrow afternoon also present a second opportunity for our area to see severe weather.
A cold front is forecast to sweep across the Stateline during the early evening hours on Tuesday. Forecast models do have enough CAPE or atmospheric energy, and moisture to work with ahead of the front. The one component that is in question is how much oomf or lift does the cold front have as it progresses through the Stateline. The Storm Prediction has left a marginal risk once again for our counties in Northern Illinois, with a higher risk for severe weather towards the southeast. Any storm that does become strong enough along the front will have the capability of producing high winds, and large hail. Otherwise, it will bring a threat for a few rumbles of thunder and spotty rain if the cold front isn’t capable of producing the needed lift.
Once this cold front passes through around sunset Tuesday evening, temperatures will drop back into the mid 60s by Wednesday afternoon. It’s the second cold front that is set to pass through late Wednesday evening that is going to bring an unseasonably cold air mass for the second half of the work week. High temperatures will drop from the upper 60s, down into the upper 40s for both Thursday and Friday. A good 8 to 12° below average, and temperatures we usually see in the middle of March. YUCK!