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FIRST ALERT: Blast of cold air through end of work week before our next snow maker arrives

Published: Jan. 27, 2021 at 6:06 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - January 2021 looks to end on an active note with our next weather maker coming into view. Before that we’ll enjoy a nice quiet and somewhat sunny pattern. However it will come with some of the coldest air of the season thus far.

After a wintry stretch of weather, we’ll slide into a well-deserved break. Perfect weather for the Illinois snow sculpting competition at Sinnissippi Park through Saturday. This pattern is exactly what sculptors ask for, that being quiet, sunny and temperatures below freezing. It’s also likely that Rockford will see its first overnight sub-zero low temperature with high pressure dominating our weather pattern.

An even colder start to Thursday is on the docket.
An even colder start to Thursday is on the docket.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Temperatures and wind chills primarily in the single digits above and below zero Wednesday into early Thursday and again Thursday into early Friday. Pack on those layers as those north winds will continue. However we’ll continue to be treated to widespread sunshine for both Thursday and most of Friday. Highs Thursday in the lower 20s and the upper 20s for Friday with wind chills below that continuing both days.

This is the coldest air we’ve seen in 34 days, going back to Christmas Eve and by this point in time we should already have 8 days with sub-zero temperatures. We’ve also had five days this January with high temperatures below 30 degrees.

It's likely that Rockford will record its first sub-zero temperature of the winter season.
It's likely that Rockford will record its first sub-zero temperature of the winter season.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

While we will be quiet through the end of the work week, a winter storm system is likely to impact the region this weekend. The main type of precipitation looks to be accumulating snow for most of us. However the exact timing and amount is still uncertain. We’re currently thinking the timeframe to watch will be late afternoon and evening Saturday continuing through the middle of the day on Sunday. The fine details of timing, location, and amounts will become better known in the coming days.

A storm system is looking increasingly more likely as the weekend approaches.
A storm system is looking increasingly more likely as the weekend approaches.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)
We are tracking the second weather-maker of the week for the weekend.
We are tracking the second weather-maker of the week for the weekend.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)
We continue to monitor a potential for a system to bring several inches of accumulating snow to...
We continue to monitor a potential for a system to bring several inches of accumulating snow to the region Saturday PM through Sunday.(Ethan Rosuck, WIFR)

We have issued a First Alert ahead of this storm as we continue to monitor it. Please stay tuned to later forecasts for updates, especially if you are planning to travel this weekend.

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