Parade of Cold Fronts Bring Very Chilly Start To October


It was a somewhat busy start to our Wednesday, as a round of light showers tracked to the west of the Rockford area. Although the air towards the surface may have been too dry to see any of that rain, a few raindrops may have splattered on your windshield if you were traveling westbound. However, much of the morning has been dry under a mostly cloudy sky. With this round of light showers now shifting to our southwest, we’re beginning to see a little bit of clearing across the Stateline. Don’t let this clearing fool you. Clouds will be quick to increase ahead of incoming cold front. Along with this boundary will be another chance for a few passing showers and gusty winds. Tis the season am I right?

Model guidance continued to show this cold front swinging by towards the mid-day hours. Although this will have enough lift to pop-up a few light showers, the bigger and more impactful story will be the strong winds. Northwest winds along behind the front are expect to increase to 15 to 20 mph sustained, with gusts up to 30-35 mph. I wouldn’t too surprised to see a few isolated spots experience gusts up to 40 mph. With that being said, if you have any fall decoration set outside or any loose objects, you’re going to want to make sure they are secure. For those that have any traveling plans this afternoon, be sure to have a firm grip on the steering wheel, as these winds could make for bumpy travel. We’ll experience the brunt of these shortly after mid-day, stretching until 5PM-6PM. A light breeze will stick around throughout the evening. 

Following today’s cold front, a secondary cold front is set to arrive during the evening tomorrow. Now you may have heard me say the term “backdoor cold front” multiple times during the shows this morning. That is the type of front we’re expecting to slide through the region late in the day tomorrow. The reason why we call it a backdoor cold front is because of the direction it moves. A regular cold front typically comes in from the northwest, while a backdoor cold front slides from north to south. Behind this secondary front will be some very chilly Canadian air.

Models continue to show the Stateline experiencing the coldest of this wave moving in on Friday. Highs are expected to only climb into the low 50s, which is about 15 to 20 degrees below average. Overnight lows both Friday morning and Saturday morning will drop into the 30s, bringing the potential for frost. Observing both mornings, I think that we have a better chance to see frost Friday morning, as we may be dealing with a little more cloud cover waking up on Saturday. But, there’s good news for those that aren’t ready for the chill to stay. Long range outlooks continue to favor above average temperatures as we roll into the middle of October. Highs next week are expected to remain a few degrees below average to start. But hey, we’ll take what we get right? By Tuesday, we’re talking highs around the 70 degree mark.

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