The official start to Fall began Wednesday afternoon and Mother Nature sure didn’t disappoint with a more fall-like air mass. Temperatures went from the upper 80s and low 90s this past Sunday and Monday, to highs below 70 degrees Wednesday afternoon. Rockford’s high officially came in at 69 degrees, following Tuesday’s high of 70 degrees. It felt nice, but the strong north wind at times definitely put a chill in the air.
Winds will remain strong the next few days thanks to a departing low pressure system, currently moving through eastern Illinois and Indiana Wednesday evening. This low will park itself over southern Michigan by Thursday morning before quickly exiting to the northeast by the end of the week. High pressure centered over the Midwest will slowly be moving in and the difference in pressure between the two will keep the winds strong Thursday. Northwest winds will gust as high as 25 mph throughout the afternoon, holding temperatures in the upper 60s. Cloud cover will likely keep the area split again, with locations to the east experiencing a little more cloud cover than locations to the west.
Winds will then shift around to the southwest Friday as the high slides to our south and east. A cold front advancing in from the northwest and west Friday evening will gradually bring an increase in cloud cover, but also a return to slightly warmer temperatures. Following Thursday’s high of only 69 degrees, highs on Friday will warm close to 80 degrees, only to drop once again Saturday as winds shift back around to the northwest for the afternoon.
It is this time of year when we tend to see big changes in our daily temperatures as our seasons begin to change. That’s because the jet stream is strengthening and becoming faster and stronger. This is what helps to pull in the colder air from the north, or draw up the warmer air from the south. The stronger winds in the jet stream often times leads to stronger and deeper storm systems, which can cause gustier winds from time to time. By the end of the weekend our winds should ease a little but could pick right back up as another storm system moves across the country.