It was a beautiful day Thursday after the early morning cold front. Highs only reached the mid and upper 70s with breezy Northwest winds. Tonight, will be a perfect night to open up the windows and let some fresh air in! Temperatures will fall to the low 50s for the overnight low. Shallow fog may develop into the night but will not last long into the morning.

Tomorrow brings another comfortable afternoon, with highs reaching the upper 70s and low 80s again. We will see a few passing clouds for the afternoon, and winds will shift to the Southwest later in the afternoon.

Canadian Wildfire smoke will return to the skies Friday afternoon and evening. While the main impacts will simply be hazy skies, brief drops in air quality are possible along with being able to smell the smoke.

The weekend brings the start of our next weather pattern. The low pressure that brought this morning’s cold front will move off to the Northeast, and a large ridge of high pressure will take its place across the Central portions of the country. This will bring more summer-like temperatures our way, including highs in the 90s likely through the early and middle of next week.

Additionally, this ridge will help to keep rain chances away from the area. The Weather Prediction Center is forecasting little to no rain across a huge part of the country over the next 7 days. This is not great news for those still experiencing drought conditions.

Today’s new drought monitor has shown significant improvements in most categories in Illinois, with the percentage of the State under “Abnormally Dry” conditions dropping from 85% to 71% since last week. Moderate Drought fell nearly 13 percentage points from last week in Illinois. Meanwhile, the improvements were not as significant in Wisconsin. Nearly all of the State is still seeing Abnormally Dry conditions, and the Moderate and Severe Drought coverage only fell less than 5 percentage points each.

The medium range forecast from the Climate Prediction Center favors above normal temperatures to continue into the last week of August. Normal high temperatures this time of year are in the low 80s.

Outside of Friday, every day on the 7-day forecast are above normal, with summer-like heat returning by the weekend. Highs may reach the 90s for a few days in a row early in the week. Rain chances are few and far between until the ridge begins to break down late next week.