Tumbling Temperatures:

A good amount of afternoon sun and a gusty south-southwesterly wind allowed highs on Wednesday to peak in the upper 30s and low 40s. Officially, Rockford’s high came to 41°, marking the fourth time since the beginning of the new year where we’ve had a high at or above 40-degrees. But as the saying goes, “what goes up must come down”. 

Around the midnight hour last night, a strong Arctic cold front swept through the region, allowing our next Arctic surge to commence. Temperatures early Wednesday have been tumbling into the teens, with wind chills landing either in the single-digits or below-zero.

Bitterly Cold Stretch:

For the kids that are heading to school this morning, make sure they are dressed in multiple layers. If possible, keep them in the car where it’s warm so they are not standing in the cold. As for yourselves, also bundle up! As this cold Arctic air continues to filter in, temps and wind chills don’t look to improve as we head into the afternoon.

In fact, today’s gusty northwesterly wind will either keep temperatures steady in the teens, or gradually fall into the evening hours. At times, winds could peak at 25-30 mph, allowing wind chills to also remain below zero.  The worst of this Arctic air-mass arrives overnight Wednesday as a strong area of high pressure inches closer from the Upper Midwest.

With more dry air in our atmosphere, skies will clear somewhat this evening, leaving us with a mostly clear sky overnight. This will allow temperatures to fall on either side of the zero-degree mark by Thursday morning, with wind chills landing well below-zero. Same ordeal as for those heading out this morning, limit time outdoors and be sure to dress in multiple layers. Guidance continues to show a dry, but cold weather pattern sticking around into Friday, with our next system slated to arrive by late Saturday.

The associated cold front looks to bring a band of flurries and light snow to the region, so keep that in mind if you have any plans. It seems that we enter a somewhat more active pattern as we head into next week as forecast models show a few more weak disturbances tracking into or around the area. As far as our temperatures are concerned, it looks like we remain cooler-than-average towards the end of January.