Guess what’s back? Back again. Gusty winds. They are back. Alright, that Eminem reference sounded better in my head. Any who! We’re about to see another round of gusty winds move into the Stateline beginning today, and sticking around into Thursday. It’s a similar set up from what we had this past weekend, except the high pressure system is to our southeast, and the developing low is to our northwest. In between these two systems, the pressure gradient is expected to tighten up, allowing for winds to ramp up by this afternoon. Winds this morning have been on the breeze side, gusting up to 15 to 20 mph at times. By late-morning, we can expect gusts to approach 30 mph.
Winds today will be out of the southeasterly and southerly direction, leading to a slight warm-up. Following yesterday high of 44°, highs today will soar into the mid-50s. As the pressure gradient continues to tighten, wind gusts this afternoon could approach 40 mph. Winds this strong will bring hazardous driving conditions, especially those traveling on east and west roadways. If you plan on traveling later today, take your time and keep a safe distance from high-profile vehicles. Now, we normally see a slight weakening of gusty winds once we get into the overnight hours. Unfortunately, that won’t be the case tonight. Winds remain pretty strong, with gusts pushing 30-35 miles per hour. This warm breeze will slowly cool temperatures down into the low 40s by Thursday morning. If you’re keeping track, that about 10-15° warm than what we woke up to yesterday and this morning.
Thursday features the warmest high temperatures of the work week. A low pressure system, the one that is currently moving across the Upper Midwest, is going to help swing a warm front through the Stateline around the mid-day hours Thursday. Once this warm front lifts to our north, strong winds out of the southwest will help pull some moisture into the region. This won’t result in any rain chances. But, we could see a few more clouds streaking across our skies during the day, as highs climb into the low to mid 60s. Also because of this windy stretch, the National Weather Service has highlighted an elevated fire risk for all of Northern Illinois. The combination of these strong winds, warmer temperatures, and low relative humidity will provide a favorable environment for any fire that sparks to quickly spread. With that in mind, make sure to refrain from conducting any outdoor activities that may lead to the spread of a fire. Not only is the risk elevated today, but it continues into Thursday afternoon.