It all had to end sometime, right? A pattern that has produced 16 consecutive days above normal is nearing its final act, though a 17th straight day above normal is likely to occur Tuesday, and PERHAPS continue a day or two beyond. Computer models have been locking onto the notion that a chunk of Arctic Air over Western Canada is to be jarred loose in the middle of the week, allowing it to spill down into the nation's midsection by Friday. This scenario is becoming increasingly likely as we're analyzing more and more data coming in.
This will not be an epic cold air outbreak, however. In fact, the punishment from the cold air will be modest, at best, by early February standards. There are two reason for this. 1) The lack of snow cover over the Stateline, and more importantly, the lack of snow well up into Wisconsin! This certainly takes a nice bite out of the incoming cold air. 2) The duration of the cold outbreak is to be short, only a couple days! Punishing long-term behemoth outbreaks simply aren't as common as you progress through February. The days are getting longer by 2-3 minutes per day, and the sun is getting higher and stronger in the sky. Those two elements make it increasingly difficult to have a cold snap last more than 2-3 days at a time!
We're presently forecasting this cold snap to produce temperatures in the mid 20s on Friday, lower 20s on Saturday. In fact, Saturday's 23° forecast will be the coldest day here since a 13° reading on January 20th!
There are signs that 40s could return next week! 40s, as you well know, have been no stranger to our weather scene this winter! When you include Saturday's 46° and Sunday's 43° high temperature, the tally of 40°+ highs since December 1st is up to 31 days! That's good enough for 4th on the all-time list here in Rockford dating back to 1906, a remarkable feat!
Snow lovers, I'm afraid there's not a whole lot to be excited about in coming days. Outside of a few snow showers Tuesday, and then again next Monday, there's nothing in sight for the next week! There are subtle signs that the middle of February could offer a few more chances to shovel, but the evidence is far too shaky at this early stage! Stay tuned!