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Autumn to begin on a cool note, though summer’s far from finished

Multiple 80s remain in the forecast, rain chances few to none
Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 6:39 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - It is incredible to fathom just how much things can change over the course of a day, but that’s exactly what has happened in the Stateline over the course of the past 24 hours!

Whereas Monday temperatures topped out into the middle and upper 80s, we found ourselves in the upper 60s to lower 70s for high temperatures across northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin Tuesday. Should the 69° high temperature in Rockford stand, it will mark the first time since July 8 In which temperatures failed to reach the 70° mark. The last time we were cooler than Tuesday’s 69° reading, you’d have to go all the way back to right around Memorial Day, more specifically on May 29th.

The last time temperatures failed to reach 70° in Rockford was more than two months ago!
The last time temperatures failed to reach 70° in Rockford was more than two months ago!(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Temperatures Tuesday evening stand anywhere between 12 and 20 degrees shy of where they were just 24 hours before, and the coolest air may still be yet to come as winds continue to blow in out of the north, straight out of Canada.

It's remarkably cooler than it was just 24 hours ago.
It's remarkably cooler than it was just 24 hours ago.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

We shouldn’t be all that surprised about this though as have come to anticipate temperatures to be cooling down as we near the official start of fall. That’s exactly what occurs less than 24 hours from now. The Fall Equinox will officially occur at 2:21 Wednesday afternoon. It’s then when the sun’s more direct rays are directed right over the equator.

Daylight hours still ever so slightly outnumber nighttime hours Wednesday, though that won’t be the case for much longer. Come this weekend, nights will be longer than days until next year’s Spring Equinox.

The Fall Equinox takes place at 2:21 Wednesday afternoon.
The Fall Equinox takes place at 2:21 Wednesday afternoon.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Over the course of the next 24 to 48 hours things are expected to be largely quiet, although we are going to be dodging some cloudiness from time to time. Quite a bit of sunshine will be around for us here for our Wednesday. However, the exception will be to our east where a pesky area of upper level low pressure will remain rather stationary, keeping quite a bit of cloudiness in areas along and east of Interstate 39.

A good deal of sun is on the way for Wednesday, but northerly winds will restrict temperatures...
A good deal of sun is on the way for Wednesday, but northerly winds will restrict temperatures to the 60s yet again.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

As skies clear quickly Wednesday evening and winds die down, temperatures will plummet. It’s possible that by the time sunrise rolls around Thursday morning, some outlying areas may have seen temperatures fall all the way into the upper 30s

Clear skies and lighter winds will allow temperatures to plummet overnight Wednesday into early...
Clear skies and lighter winds will allow temperatures to plummet overnight Wednesday into early Thursday.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

As we go into Thursday, especially during the afternoon hours, the upper level low pressure system actually backtracks just a little bit. That will send more cloudiness back over our area, and we can’t even completely rule out the possibility of a sprinkle or light rain shower, especially along and east of I-39. That upper level low pressure system will begin to slowly depart off to the east as we go into Thursday night and Friday.

Clouds may backtrack into our area Thursday, especially along and east of Interstate 39.
Clouds may backtrack into our area Thursday, especially along and east of Interstate 39.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

From there we will have to pay attention to our next weather maker, a clipper-like system that will be descending out of the northwest, which could perhaps touch off a couple of showers. It’s early in the game, but it appears as though there’s at least some potential showers could arrive right in time for high school football action Friday evening. That said, at this point in time, any rainfall activity is expected to be very very light.

A weak disturbance may touch off some light showers in time for Friday night's high school...
A weak disturbance may touch off some light showers in time for Friday night's high school football action.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Though temperatures the next few days will be rather fall-like, don’t think for a second though that we are done with summertime warmth. After temperatures seesaw into the upper 70s on Friday to the lower 70 Saturday, we head back into the upper 70s on Sunday, and we expect several days of 80s next week, including middle 80s which could occur to start the work week next Monday.

Several 80s remain ahead of us, including mid-80s next Monday and perhaps beyond.
Several 80s remain ahead of us, including mid-80s next Monday and perhaps beyond.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

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