Remember when we couldn’t even squeeze in a few peeks of sunshine??? Well, that hasn’t been the case as of recent. In fact, 9 out of the last 13 days at the Chicago-Rockford International Airport featured 50% cloud cover or less. Before heading out, grab your sunglasses. While the sunshine is set to return, a cold front sliding through by mid-day will help filter in cooler air for the second half of the work week.
A look at the most recent surface analysis shows the cold front of interest to our north, sliding into central Wisconsin. Warm winds ahead of this cold front has resulted in a MUCH warmer start to our day. Trust me, you’ll definitely feel the difference once you walk out the door this morning. Temperatures early on are running 10° to 20° warmer compared to yesterday, with most spots falling into the upper 20s. The overall state of the atmosphere is still very dry thanks to the departing high pressure system. In other words, no issues for those heading to work or school this morning. After a rather chilly day on Tuesday, this morning’s warmer start is a sign for things to come, as temps soar into the mid to upper 40s.
Following today’s cold front, winds will shift to the northwest at first, then change to the northeast as we head into the overnight hours. This will help transport a little low-level moisture into the area from Lake Michigan, increasing the cloud cover into Thursday morning. While the second half of the work week begins on a cloudy note, sunshine should make a triumphant return by Thursday afternoon. Cooler air that filters in behind today’s cold front will result in a drop in high temperatures, with Thursday and Friday featuring highs in the upper 30s and low 40s.
Thankfully, this “cooler” stretch is short-lived as a strong and expansive ridge of high pressure takes control of the mid-levels of the atmosphere. With the jet stream pushed well to the north of the area, a much warmer air mass will filter in from the deep south, boosting highs into early next week. So far in 2021, we haven’t hit the 50° mark. But what if I said we have the potential to see our first 50° and 60° day all in the same stretch. We’ll most likely see our first 50° day either Sunday or Monday, with the potential for 60° on Tuesday. Along with the warmth comes the chances for rain showers, something that we haven’t seen in quite some time. The combination of the snow melt, along with an increasing chance for rain will lead to the threat for flooding in certain areas. IF you live in an area that is prone to flooding, keep an eye on the forecast.