What more can we say besides it was a very summer-like weekend across the area. Plenty of sunshine, and a strong warm southwesterly wind allowed highs to soar into the upper 80s both Saturday and Sunday. In fact, Saturday’s high of 88° tied Rockford’s record high for May 1st set back in 1992. Temperatures won’t be as warm to kick off the new work week, but warm enough to bring the threat for thunderstorms, some of which could be strong to severe.
Strong to Severe Storms:
Cloud cover thickened up late Sunday night into early Monday morning, bringing a very mild but comfortable start to the work week. Temperatures this morning are sitting in the upper 50s in a spot or two, but mainly in the low 60s. It’s comfortable enough to where you won’t need a jacket heading out, but I would make sure to have the rain gear. Following a fairly quiet morning, a cold front front surging in from the west-northwest will ramp up thunderstorm chances late this afternoon. Ahead of the front, a southerly to southwesterly breeze will once again help temperatures soar, sending temperatures into the upper 70s.This continued warmth will only add fuel to the fire for thunderstorms to thrive later today.
The boundary responsible for thunderstorm chances later today hasn’t really moved all that much over the last 24-48 hours, remaining stationary in southern Wisconsin and northeast Iowa. Once that frontal boundary begins to approach the area, thunderstorms look to develop to our northwest by mid-day. Guidance shows this cluster of thunderstorms moving in right around the beginning of the evening commute, pushing out of the area by 9-10PM.
For the thunderstorm threat later on today, the Storm Prediction Center has placed much of northern Illinois under a Marginal Risk (level 1 of 5) for severe weather. Mainly for heavy downpours and gusty winds. The higher threat for severe weather, including the potential for a few tornadoes, remains across southern Illinois. Conditions look to dry out after midnight, with temperatures cooling into the 40s by Tuesday morning.
Severe Weather Safety:
Remember, severe weather can happen all year round. So, it’s very important that you and your family are prepared well ahead of time before severe weather threatens your area. To be ready, we always say to have multiple ways to get watches and warnings. Whether it’s by a NOAA weather radio, the First Warn Weather App, or by watching Candice, Kevin, and I on WTVO and FOX 39. Also, make sure you’re severe weather kit and your safe place is updated and ready to go. It wouldn’t hurt to also practice your severe weather plan before the threat for severe weather arrives!