Early this week, all signs pointed to a dramatic cold snap arriving this weekend. Some computer model solutions were advertising temperatures not reaching out of the teens Saturday and Sunday, with one model saying Sunday would have a hard time reaching 10°! Several developments this week have made those scenarios far less likely, most notably, the quick erosion of the snowpack over the Stateline and the Midwest as a whole!
The quickly receding snow cover here is the principal reason behind our six consecutive days in the 30s, culminating with Friday's 39° reading. The warmer readings Friday dramatically reduced snowfall chances for Friday night, and so Saturday's incoming cooler air won't have a fresh snowpack with which to work. For that reason, we're now forecasting a SEVENTH consecutive 30°+ reading with plenty of sunshine expected.
Another disturbance arrives Saturday night, perhaps bringing a few snow showers, and tugging down another chunk of cold air for Sunday. Again, though, with a paltry snowpack on the ground, this cold air just doesn't carry much of a punch.
The transition to warmer air begins Monday, where, despite a slight chance for a wintry mix of rain and snow, temperatures return to the low 40s. The most recent run of the NWS's NAM Computer Model gives us a high Monday of 47°, which may be a bit bullish, but it at least carries a little weight.
Further warming carries into Tuesday, with local 50° readings possible! February begins on Wednesday, and it begins on a mild note, with yet another 40°+ reading likely. The 42° currently forecast for Wednesday is a level 11° above normal for the date! Temperatures slowly moderate downward on Thursday, though staying well above normal, thus insuring there will be NO repeat of last year's Groundhog Day Blizzard! Following four consecutive 40s, mid to upper 30s are expected on Friday.
I hope you'll all take some time to check out the snow sculptures created at this week's Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition in the next few days! The sculptors this year were forced to deal with less than ideal sculpting conditions due to the milder temperatures, yet still managed to produce some AMAZING creations! With next week's warmth on the horizon, it unfortunately appears as though the sculptures won't be on display long. So take a minute or two if you can and stop on down to Sinnissippi Park to take a look! I promise you it'll be worth your time!