First 80° Day:
After teasing us with highs in the upper 70s both Sunday and Monday, mother nature turned up the heat even more. For the first time in nearly 6 months, high temperatures at the Rockford Airport eclipsed the 80° mark. Tuesday’s warmth came in a few weeks ahead of schedule, as we normally don’t see our first 80° day until April 23rd. Similar warmth will be felt across the area today, but a more unsettled weather pattern slides in shortly after sunset.
If you’re stepping out the door early on, it’s a comfortable and dry start to our Wednesday. In fact, this the third morning in a row where our region is feeling more like late-May-early June rather than early April. Temperatures under a partly cloudy sky have fallen into the mid to upper 50s. You won’t necessarily need the rain gear stepping out, but I would just have it on hand for the afternoon & evening hours. Clouds are expected to fill in, turning mostly cloudy by mid-day. Guidance does show a round of scattered showers, and possibly an isolated thunderstorm or two, swinging in between 2PM-5PM. However, chances become more widespread shortly after sunset.
Rain Chances Ramp Up:
While it looks like there has been a westward shift in the heaviest precipitation, I still think that we the potential to see pockets of heavier downpours during the evening and into Wednesday night. A few isolated thunderstorms are possible, but the chance for severe weather is extremely low. We can expect activity to become much more scattered in nature by Thursday morning. Most spots look to pick up a tenth to a quarter inch of rain, with heavier totals expected for those affected by thunderstorms. So make sure to put the rain gear somewhere easily accessible before heading to bed, so you have it ready.
As this storm system slowly spins to our north and west, cloud cover is expected to hang tight for Thursday. Showers early on look to become less numerous by the afternoon hours. We won’t be nearly as warm as cooler air wraps around the center of the low pressure system. Highs will drop from the upper 70s today to the low 60s Thursday.