The calendar may still read January, but it's felt every bit of April here in the Stateline early this week.
Following Monday's 52° high temperature, a reading that tied a record for the date previously set in 1944 and 1926, it's looking increasingly likely that Tuesday will be even warmer, perhaps even reaching 60°! I've made three cases why I think it could very well happen, and three cases why I don't think it could happen...
First, why it will happen... Overnight lows won't drop below the mid-30s, compared the the upper teens and low-20s Monday morning. A warmer base on which to build could be behind warmer high temps in the afternoon. SW winds will also continue to blow with gusto, and over bare ground to boot! Those same winds produced 70-deg temps within 300 miles of RFD Monday! Thirdly, the models have seriously underdone temperatures thus far! At 3pm Monday, two models gave us temps of 38 and 41... Our 3pm temp on Monday... 52... A continued cold bias may work us closer to 60 on Tuesday.
Here are the negatives. While there were quite a few clouds on Monday, I think the cloud deck will be a bit thicker on Tuesday, thus obscuring a good deal of sunlight. An afternoon drizzle or shower threat could also restrict temperatures, as well as a cold front's approach and passage to follow...
When all's said and done, 60 is by no means in the bag, but it's a possibility worth mentioning. With or without a 60, it's still shaping up to be one nice Tuesday!
The cold front's passage insures that markedly cooler air is to invade for the middle and end portions of the workweek, yet temperatures are still slated to be significantly above normal! Sunshine over the now snow-free surface should be more than enough to bring temperatures into the low 40s for February's opening two days, a far cry from the start to February, 2011!
Temperatures remain in the low 40s through the weekend, though a complex storm may turn things a bit more active. Light rain showers are possible both Friday and Saturday, though by Sunday there might be just enough cold air to change the rain over to a bit of light snow. That said, even the colder air that follows Monday won't be enough to send us below normal. Monday's 35° forecast high is a value still a hair above normal!
There are signs that the middle of February could turn out to be quite cold. Several recent runs of the National Weather Service's GFS model are trending toward a colder than normal weather pattern beginning somewhere in the neighborhood of February 8-9.
Meantime, the USGS confirms that a 2.4 Magnitude Earthquake occurred at 9:54 Monday evening, centered 11 miles WSW of Kenosha, or 50 miles NNW of Chicago. There have been no reports of damage or injuries from the minor temblor, that was felt as close to us as McHenry and Woodstock.