We’ve had a pretty nice stretch of weather so far this week. Yesterday, the morning cloud cover cleared up a bit leading to a good amount of sunshine, and temperatures warming into the upper 50s. Unfortunately, today is the day we switch to a more wet and active pattern.
Earlier this morning, a cold front swept through the region. Before the cold frontal passage, temperatures were very slow to cool down and were holding in the 50s. Once we saw our surface winds switch to the north and northeast, temperatures finally took a hit and most spots ended up in the low 40s. And although we hit 58° yesterday, this cold front will bring a slightly cooler afternoon to the Stateline later today.
Not only are we going to be slightly cooler today, but rain chances also make a return. An area of low pressure now sliding across the Midwest will track through central Illinois this afternoon, bringing us a chance for a few light showers late this afternoon stretching into this evening. Precipitation is going to be on the lighter side. Most locations across the area could pick up close to a tenth of an inch before showers taper off into early Friday morning.
All eyes are on a system that is currently meandering off the coast of California this morning. Using water vapor imagery, you can clearly see the trough just to the northwest of the subtropical jet. This holds the system that is set to bring heavier rainfall and thunderstorm chances to the area on Saturday. Still too early for specifics with this system as it is still offshore. Once this system makes landfall, we will have been measurements and observations of the system leading to a better idea of strength and track once it approaches the Stateline.
As it inches closer to the area by Friday afternoon, rain will begin to develop. From overnight Friday to Saturday, rain could become heavy at times. This area of low pressure is poised to deepen and move into the Upper Midwest by Saturday morning, bringing with it a small potential for strong to severe storms. As of this morning, the Storm Prediction Center has placed our southern areas under a Marginal Risk (Level 1 of 5) for severe weather. A higher risk for severe weather is expected towards our south in central Illinois. Definitely something to keep an eye on as the weekend approaches.