Though Cooler than March, April Surprisingly Mild; Warming into May?

By: METEOROLOGIST MARK HENDERSON
By: METEOROLOGIST MARK HENDERSON

Boy, it's just amazing to see the stunning differences between March and April of this year! By failing to reach 70° Wednesday, our tally of days with highs of 70° or above remains at 4 through the opening 25 days of the month! In March's first 25 days, nearly half of them, 11 in total, reached the 70s! We remain shut out for 80s in April, and we can basically shut the door on it happening for the rest of the month! Meantime, March had produced 6 80s in the first 25 days of the month! That's nearly 25% of the days!

Though many are lamenting the "cool" nature of this April, here's a stat that would actually blow your mind! If April ended today, it would go in the record books tied for the 28th WARMEST April on record out of 107 years! I guess we were a wee bit spoiled by March, weren't we?

Warm weather enthusiasts will be heartened to know that for days, there have been signs of significant warming set to take place into next week! These signs are growing stronger and stronger as the days go by! At least 5 different reliable forecast models are latching onto a pattern change in which a steady wind shift to the SSW is to take place beginning next Tuesday! 70s are entirely possible here by then, and even more likely on Wednesday! Should current trends continue to be observed, an 80° temperature would in all likelihood occur by the end of next week, perhaps in time for Cinco de Mayo!

Longer range guidance from the Climate Prediction Center extending out to May 9th shows a high likelihood of above normal to much above normal temperatures over a good chunk of the country, including the Stateline!

It's no secret that some rainfall would come in handy here in Northern Illinois! Despite the fact that Rockford's still running above normal in rainfall for the month, most of the region, in fact, most of the state is running critically low in that department! T-Storms from two weekends ago just weren't widespread enough to produce homogeneous rains areawide, rather just several spotty downpours!

In April 17th's release of the U.S. Drought Monitor produced by the USDA and the University of Nebraska, more than 35% of Illinois was characterized as being either Abnormally Dry or in a state of Moderate Drought! That's a number that's likely to grow in the new report scheduled to be released on Thursday! Bottom line, rain's needed, and it's on the way!

The next wind-driven rain event arrives perhaps as early as Friday afternoon, more likely Friday night into Saturday. This one promises to cover a wide swath of the state, which is good news for the moisture-starved soils over much of the Land of Lincoln. Here in Rockford, our in-house RPM (Timecast) Model generates 0.88" of rainfall through Noon on Saturday, while totals off of two separate NWS models range from 0.19" to 0.92" An average of the three solutions, which generally give a more accurate representation of what's likely to unfold, yields a total of 0.66", which would come in very handy!


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