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Warmth to return Thursday, humidity soon to follow

Several 90s remain in the forecast in the week ahead
Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 6:47 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Air conditioners have gotten a much needed break Wednesday, as cool Canadian high pressure has settled in over the area. Temperatures Wednesday topped out in the upper 70s to lower 80s, levels still slightly above normal for this time of year.

More noticeable, though, was just how much less humidity is in the air. Dew points, a measure of the amount of moisture in the atmosphere, have fallen to levels not seen here all summer long, generally in the upper 30s to lower 40s.

The 81° in Rockford marked the 103rd time in which temperatures made it to 80° or above in 2021, and that tally’s certain to grow significantly in the days ahead.

Wednesday marked the 103rd time in which temperatures reached at least 80° in Rockford.
Wednesday marked the 103rd time in which temperatures reached at least 80° in Rockford.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Unlimited sunshine’s on tap again Thursday, and with a wind out of the southeast and eventually south, temperatures are to rise well into the 80s. Humidity, however, should remain in check for the most part.

Wall-to-wall sunshine is on tap again Thursday. Southerly winds will send temperatures up a few...
Wall-to-wall sunshine is on tap again Thursday. Southerly winds will send temperatures up a few degrees.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Humidity should rise considerably on Friday as winds blow out of the south with increased gusto, tapping into moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. Skies are to start on a sunny note, though clouds will increase ahead of a cold front that will be approaching later on in the day. Still, before the front’s approach, temperatures will flirt with or potentially reach the 90° mark.

Following a sunny start Friday, clouds will increase in the afternoon as a cold front...
Following a sunny start Friday, clouds will increase in the afternoon as a cold front approaches from the northwest.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

There may be just enough moisture ahead of the front to support the development of a few thunderstorms late Friday afternoon or Friday evening. The prospects for rain, though, are far from guaranteed.

A cold front may trigger a few showers and storms late Friday or Friday evening, though chances...
A cold front may trigger a few showers and storms late Friday or Friday evening, though chances are far from guaranteed.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Temperatures and humidity will dip ever so slightly Saturday, though we’ll remain well into the 80s. Humidity will once again surge Sunday and Monday, with 90s a realistic possibility both days.

We'll remain comfortable through Thursday, but humidity increases in a big way Friday.
We'll remain comfortable through Thursday, but humidity increases in a big way Friday.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Another weak front approaches late Monday, perhaps prompting another round of shower and thunderstorms. Again, chances don’t appear to be overwhelming by any stretch of the imagination. Cumulatively, the coming five days appear unlikely to produce any meaningful rainfall.

There are two rain chances in the next five days, but neither will amount to much.
There are two rain chances in the next five days, but neither will amount to much.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Unfortunately, organized rains don’t appear to be in the cards over the better part of the next week or two, meaning our rainfall deficit of more than 13 inches for 2021 is almost certain to grow significantly. September, 2021 may also close as having been one of the driest on record here.

We've seen just 0.16" of rain in September's first 15 days, and are now more than 13 inches...
We've seen just 0.16" of rain in September's first 15 days, and are now more than 13 inches below normal for 2021.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

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