It was a picture-eske day across the Stateline today, with an abundance of sunshine through the afternoon. Light winds out of the East have kept temperatures a little lower than they otherwise would have been, but high temperatures reached the upper 60s and low 70s across the board.

Very dry air will allow temperatures to fall back a little quicker tonight, with many spots reaching down into the low 40s. A couple areas could dip into the upper 30s. Skies will remain very clear throughout the night as well.

Despite the cooler start, temperatures will warm to near normal for the afternoon high. Dry air keeps humidity levels very comfortable for the afternoon. Sunshine sticks around as well, giving way to another beautiful afternoon.

Once we get into the weekend, a blocking pattern called a “Rex Block” develops in the upper levels. This is when a high pressure is stacked North of a low pressure, with both stuck in place for a few days. This will keep us under the influence of the relatively high pressure with clear skies throughout the weekend.

I don’t think I could have fabricated a better forecast for this Memorial Day weekend, with temperatures above normal throughout the weekend and more importantly, no rain expected! We will see some additional cloud cover Sunday and Monday from the low-pressure system across the Southeast from the Rex Block. But otherwise, expect warm and sunny weather through the holiday weekend. Temperatures even reach well into the 80s Monday afternoon.

Once the Rex Block breaks down, a large ridge develops in its wake. This will bring significantly warmer temperatures into next week. Temperatures could be around 15° above normal for a few days during next week.

The warm and dry weather is not the greatest news for the hydrologic forecast, however. The drought monitor that was just released now reflects some areas across Northeastern Illinois that are beginning to develop drought conditions. Abnormally dry conditions have spread across parts of Ogle, Lee, and McHenry Counties, along with most of DeKalb County. These areas have seen well below average rainfall for this month, leading to the development of those drought conditions.

Things do not look to improve in the near-term regarding the lack of precipitation. The Climate Prediction Center is favoring below normal rainfall for the first few days of June.

Meanwhile, the same time period is likely favoring above normal temperatures, with the warmth continuing to be the dominant pattern for the next couple weeks.

The start of the warm stretch comes as early as the beginning of next week, with highs reaching the mid-80s by Memorial Day. We continue the warming trend from there, reaching the upper 80s Tuesday through Thursday. It is very likely we will see the afternoon temperature start with a “9” sometime next week, which would be around 15 degrees above normal for this time of year.