A punishing storm system, responsible for placing 17 states under some form of weather advisory, is bringing flooding to the Ohio and Missouri River Valley, severe thunderstorms to the Gulf Coast, and eventually heavy snow to the Northeast and New England.
As of 8:00pm Tuesday (3/18), 4.83" of rain had fallen in downstate Carbondale, IL, while several hundred miles Southwest, 5.53" had fallen into the rain gauge in Springfield, MO. Those two figures pale dramatically in comparison to the astounding 9.8" that had fallen over the past 24 hours in Cape Girardeau, MO! Heavy rains stretch Southwestward into the Lone Star State, and area that had seen considerable flooding earlier in the day, along with possible tornadoes near Dallas/Ft. Worth. The flooding rains are now destined for Southern Illinois, Indiana, and much of Ohio, while snow is being reported in Upstate New York and into New England.
While that storm has missed the Stateline, even if only by a little, there's more to watch out for here, as a cloudy, cool, and perhaps wintry pattern continues into our Easter Weekend.
While Tuesday's 44° high temperature is a few degrees shy of normal for the date, the day will actually go on the books as an above normal day, thanks to a balmy overnight low of 36°. It's just the 7th time in 39 tries that Rockford has seen an "above normal" day. Don't expect this to be a trend though, as cooler weather awaits in the week ahead. Just three times this month has the mercury touched 50° here, and when it has, it hasn't been by much. Keep in mind, January saw three 50s here, and even a 60° reading! The odds of us seeing a 60° reading anytime soon, or even a 50° for that matter, are relatively sparse.
Temperatures will stay below normal in the upcoming week, and current indications suggest that three or four of our upcoming days will feature highs only in the 30s. This, at a time where normal highs range from 47° to 50°.
To add insult to injury, snow is in our forecast, starting with a weak clipper system on Thursday, but a more substantial system due in Friday. It's still too early to tell the exact track of this storm, but evidence is growing that ate least some snow will occur with this system. Current model projections produce between a half inch and an inch of water out of this storm, which if it were to fall as all snow, could mean as many as 5-10 inches of snow. BUT, it's extremely hard to have an all snow event this time of year, and, with the ground as warm as it is following our recent thaw, it will take some time for this to accumulate. Still, it's very much a possibility that our ground could be white by day's end Friday. We'll keep you posted as this busy holiday weekend draws closer.
Weaker systems flirt with our area Easter Sunday, and again next Tuesday, with perhaps more snow, albeit light.
In case you're wondering, the average date of our last one inch snow is March 22, and the average date of our last 0.1" snow is April 6th. There's a good chance we're not done with winter just yet. Remember, too, our seasonal snow tally now stands at 67.1", just 7.4" shy of the all-time record of 74.5" set back in 1978-79.