Even though the clouds stuck around during the afternoon Monday, skies remain dried and will stay dry for at least the next couple of days. This is some welcomed news after a very rainy weekend for most in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Over two inches of rain came down in Rockford between Friday night and Saturday night, pushing the monthly rainfall total to just over five inches. This also put March as the fourth wettest month to date on record, following 2009 when 5.39 inches of rain fell through the 30th.
March will end dry, but cloudy, as winds shift more off Lake Michigan Tuesday afternoon. A push of cooler air aloft will help lock in the cloud cover for much of the afternoon, keeping temperatures in the mid 40s area wide. A return to southerly winds Wednesday and Thursday will bring temperatures back up into the 50s, and even up near 60 degrees by Thursday and Friday.
Rain chances will remain limited as our upper level flow in the atmosphere remains split and blocked. The sub-tropical branch of the jet stream will remain active but positioned more across the southern states, while the northern branch remains focused more near the U.S./Canadian border. This jet stream will also be a little ‘blocky’ through the week, meaning little opportunity for active weather as low pressure remains centered over the Northwest and Northeast. By Thursday the pattern will gradually begin to break down and this will bring our next chance for rain by the end of the week, at the earliest.