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Two storm systems to keep unsettled pattern locked in through parts of the weekend

Healthy rain likely to improve drought situation
Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 7:07 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - It’s not hard to admit we had been tremendously spoiled by the weather this week. It’s also not hard to admit that it is still early April, and such unseasonable warmth simply isn’t sustainable at this stage in the game. That’s why it should come as little surprise that we’ve come back to Earth somewhat Thursday. A tightly-wound low pressure system’s slow approach from the south has brought us waves of light rainfall over the past 24 hours, and more wet weather remains ahead of us. Showers are likely to remain rather widespread Thursday evening before becoming lighter and much more scattered toward midnight.

Rain will taper off to sprinkles or light rain showers late Thursday evening.
Rain will taper off to sprinkles or light rain showers late Thursday evening.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

We’ll still remain somewhat under the influence of this stubbornly slow moving storm system Friday morning, so a few sprinkles or light showers aren’t to be ruled out in the day’s opening hours.

A few sprinkles or light showers may be around Friday morning.
A few sprinkles or light showers may be around Friday morning.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Finally by midday or very shortly thereafter, rain should clear the area, though clouds are likely to persist for most of the afternoon. Still, some sun can’t be ruled out in mixed form later on.

Once we reach the midday hour Friday, rain should be pretty much out of the picture.
Once we reach the midday hour Friday, rain should be pretty much out of the picture.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Following a lengthy break for dry weather that’s to cover Friday afternoon, Friday night, and the opening hours of Saturday, a second storm system takes aim on the region, threatening showers here by mid to late morning Saturday.

Our next storm system takes aim on the area by mid to late morning Saturday.
Our next storm system takes aim on the area by mid to late morning Saturday.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

According to most computer forecast models, this storm system show signs of bringing several hours of rainfall our way. It’s conceivable that rain could continue with limited, if any interruption through the afternoon, much of the evening, and perhaps even the very early hours of Sunday.

Steady light to moderate rain is to continue well into the afternoon hours Saturday, and quite...
Steady light to moderate rain is to continue well into the afternoon hours Saturday, and quite likely lingering beyond.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Projections of how much rain will come down in our area vary quite a bit, as we’d expect at this distance in time. The most bullish of forecasts suggests that well over an inch may come over most, if not all of the area, while an ensemble (average) of several forecast models projects rainfall amounts closer to an inch. Our finding is that the average often ends up being closer to the end truth.

Regardless, we’re very likely to put a solid dent, or perhaps even erase what had been some substantial rainfall deficits we had been accruing over the past several weeks and months. With more than a half inch of rain having been collected in just the past two days, we’ve already made substantial progress, but there’s more work to be done.

We've closed our deficits some over the past few days, but we still have ground to gain.
We've closed our deficits some over the past few days, but we still have ground to gain.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

With our deficit since March 1 still over an inch and our year-to-date shortfall also near an inch, it should come as little surprise that drought has entered the conversation in recent weeks. Abnormally dry conditions continue to expand over much of the Midwest and Great Lakes, with the Stateline being no exception.

Drought is expanding across the Midwest and Great Lakes, including a slightly greater portion...
Drought is expanding across the Midwest and Great Lakes, including a slightly greater portion of the Stateline.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Healthy portions of Winnebago, Boone, and DeKalb Counties are among the nearly 20% of Illinois considered to be abnormally dry or worse. Over the past week, a portion of Lake County was upgraded to a Moderate Drought situation.

Nearly 20 percent of the Land of Lincoln is now reported to be in a state of drought.
Nearly 20 percent of the Land of Lincoln is now reported to be in a state of drought.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

With that in mind, though the rain’s to make for a less than ideal weekend, it is quite beneficial at the end of the day.

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