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Cool stretch to extend into third day Thursday, though warmth nowhere near finished

Several days of 80s promised in September’s closing days
Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 6:19 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Fall is officially underway, having arrived at 2:21 this afternoon, and boy did it ever feel like it!

Temperatures Wednesday topped out between 65° and 69°, marking the first time we failed to reach 70° since July 8. It also happened to be the coldest day since a 67° high temperature occurred nearly four months ago, back in late May. Lastly, it’s the coolest open to Fall since a 60° high temperature on September 22, 2012.

Wednesday was the first day that failed to reach 70° in more than two months.
Wednesday was the first day that failed to reach 70° in more than two months.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Now, with that said, no reason to get depressed because history suggests we have not yet seen our last 80s of the year. In fact, several days in the 80s are still ahead of us. Generally speaking, our last 80° temperature doesn’t historically occur until October 7. Meantime, the last 75° temperature occurs about a month from now, so we’ve still got plenty of time to enjoy some nice warm days. Today just didn’t happen to be one of them.

If history is any guide, we are far from finished with 80°+ temperatures.
If history is any guide, we are far from finished with 80°+ temperatures.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

A pesky upper level low pressure system has left much of the area cloudy Wednesday, while others basked in bright sunshine for much of the day. Along and east of Interstate 39, clouds remained relatively dominant, while west of I-39, the picture was considerably brighter.

Clouds have been persistent to our east, with more sunshine to the west. Plenty of rain has...
Clouds have been persistent to our east, with more sunshine to the west. Plenty of rain has occurred over Indiana and Michigan.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

The expectation moving forward is that this storm system may drift back a little bit to the west, or retrograde as we call that in the meteorological community. While most, if not all of us do stay dry, there will be a fair amount of cloudiness around, especially east once again, and a sprinkle cannot be completely ruled out

Clouds may still linger over the eastern half of the area Thursday. A sprinkle can't be ruled...
Clouds may still linger over the eastern half of the area Thursday. A sprinkle can't be ruled out, especially east. Western portions of the Stateline are to be dry.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Skies will clear Thursday night, and Friday’s to start on a rather sunny note.

Skies are to clear quickly areawide Thursday night.
Skies are to clear quickly areawide Thursday night.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Southwesterly breezes will blow with gusto for much of Friday, sending temperatures soaring to near 80°.

Sunshine and southwesterly winds are to send temperatures soaring Friday.
Sunshine and southwesterly winds are to send temperatures soaring Friday.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

However, later in the day we are going to cloud over as cold front approaches from the north and west, which could serve as the focus for our next round of showers and perhaps even a few embedded thunderstorms. While the timing is still a bit uncertain regarding this potential, there may be an impact on Friday night’s football games.

Showers and storms may fire ahead of a cold front late Friday or Friday evening.
Showers and storms may fire ahead of a cold front late Friday or Friday evening.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

That appears to be the one and only chance for showers and storms in the coming week, and rainfall amounts hardly look impressive.

The front’s passage brings briefly cooler, but seasonable temperatures for Saturday, with highs in the lower 70s expected. Beginning Sunday and then continuing through the end of September, temperatures are expected to be in the 80s, with a few days likely to be well into the 80s.

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