An unseasonably warm air mass is about to move across much of the middle of the country, bringing temperatures into the 50s once again Tuesday, and then mid and upper 60s Wednesday afternoon and evening. The official forecast high for Wednesday is 66 degrees, which would break the previous record high for the 15th of December which is 58 degrees set back in 1971. While the warmth moves in for Wednesday, it won’t be a sun-filled afternoon. Skies will most likely remain mostly cloudy due to the quick increase in moisture, and periodic rain showers will be likely during the morning and afternoon.
The rise in moisture will also push dew point temperatures into the 50s during the afternoon which may actually make it feel a little muggy during the day. Thursday’s record high is also in jeopardy as temperatures just after Midnight will most likely still sit right around 60 degrees. Unfortunately the afternoon will feel anything but warm, with temperatures quickly falling into the 40s by sunrise, and remaining in the 40s through the afternoon.
Southwest winds increase Wednesday afternoon gusting 30-35 mph and then increasing to near 50 mph Wednesday night as the low level jet significantly increases ahead of a deepening low pressure system.
A High Wind Watch has been issued for Jo Daviess County beginning Wednesday afternoon, stretching all the way through the Plains. While nothing has been issued further east, I would not be surprised if at least a Wind Advisory ends up being issued for the rest of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. The strong winds will carry over into early Thursday, but slowly begin to relax by Thursday afternoon. Colder air will arrive Thursday on the heels of the gusty northwest wind.