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Warm spell to span several more days, though changes coming into view

First substantial snow of the season a legitimate possibility next week
Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 10:04 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - What a way to start the month of December!

For a second consecutive day temperatures in the Stateline reached into the 50s just about everywhere, with 53° the official high temperature at the Chicago-Rockford International Airport.

For a second straight day, temperatures reached into the 50s in the Stateline.
For a second straight day, temperatures reached into the 50s in the Stateline.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

50°+ temperatures in the month of December aren’t all that uncommon. In fact, more than seven out of 10 years produce at least one December day in the in the 50s or above. Stringing together multiple days in the 50s, however, is a much more difficult feat. Only 50% of years have produced two or more days in the 50s, while only one out of three years produce three or more 50s. Even a more difficult accomplishment, but a very real possibility this year, is having four days at or above 50°. Just 25% of years dating back to the late 1800s have seen four or more 50s in the month of December.

50s in December aren't all that uncommon, but seeing more than one such day in the month...
50s in December aren't all that uncommon, but seeing more than one such day in the month becomes increasingly less likely.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

There are still several mild days ahead of us, there’s no mistaking that! Clouds overnight Wednesday will allow temperatures to remain in the 40s areawide. It’s not completely out of the question that a few sprinkles may come from these clouds, though those chances are extremely small.

A weak clipper system may bring a few sprinkles or showers our way overnight and into very...
A weak clipper system may bring a few sprinkles or showers our way overnight and into very early Thursday.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Thursday’s to feature wall-to-wall sunshine, and with a warmer base from which to initiate our temperature climb, we should have no trouble whatsoever in reaching the 50s areawide for a third straight day.

Wall-to-wall sunshine is on tap Thursday.
Wall-to-wall sunshine is on tap Thursday.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)
Unseasonable warmth continues its dominance Thursday.
Unseasonable warmth continues its dominance Thursday.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Another disturbance, this one slightly stronger, is to spread clouds back into our area Thursday evening, and it’s slightly more conceivable that a few sprinkles or even a snow flurry could arrive well after midnight. Again, though, there’s no threat for any significant travel impacts and there’ll certainly be no snowfall accumulation.

Another very weak system brings a very small chance for rain or snow early Friday morning.
Another very weak system brings a very small chance for rain or snow early Friday morning.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

This activity is also likely to be well out of the way by the time the sun comes up, and full sunshine is anticipated once again to dominate on Friday, allowing our temperatures to once again reach into the 50s.

Sunshine will be on full display again Friday.
Sunshine will be on full display again Friday.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Slightly cooler air is due in here for the opening stages of the weekend, though the mid 40s that we expect on Saturday are still to be well above normal.

While it'll be slightly cooler Saturday, we'll remain well above normal for this time of year.
While it'll be slightly cooler Saturday, we'll remain well above normal for this time of year.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Another gush of warmth comes our way ahead of a windy wet storm system that brings us growing chances for some light rain showers Sunday. Despite the fact that Sunday will be a rather gray day, the anticipated strong southerly winds associated with that storm system will, in all likelihood, produce another day with temperatures in the 50s.

Though Sunday will be rather cloudy, and at times wet, it'll feature another 50°+ temperature.
Though Sunday will be rather cloudy, and at times wet, it'll feature another 50°+ temperature.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

From there, more significant changes are being monitored. Much cooler air is to wrap into the area on the system’s backside, with temperatures expected not to get out of the 30s next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Additionally, there remains rather compelling evidence amongst a suite of reliable computer models that snow may very well be in the forecast, especially next Tuesday. What’s more, the consistency in which snow’s been advertised for several model runs increases the confidence that there may be enough snow to shovel!

Computer models continue to indicate the possibility for sticking snow in the Stateline early...
Computer models continue to indicate the possibility for sticking snow in the Stateline early next week.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

With that said, it is still far too premature to speculate on just how much snow may come.

Take the famous game Plinko as an example. When the chip is dropped, there are thousands of possible combinations regarding the path it’ll take to the bottom of the board. It’s impossible to predict exactly where the chip may land right away, though we tend to get a better idea as the chip gets closer to the bottom.

The same holds true with a winter storm system. There are thousands of variables in play, atmospherically speaking. At this early distance, there are so many different ways our atmospheric Plinko chip may go between now and the storm’s arrival. But, as we get to within a day or two of the storm’s arrival, we are better able to hone in on the finer details, and increase our confidence regarding the amount of snow that may come.

It's still far too early to speculate as to how much snow may come our way next week. There are...
It's still far too early to speculate as to how much snow may come our way next week. There are simply too many variables in play.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

The moral of the story is that it’s far too early to give a forecast for accumulation, and it would be irresponsible for us to do so. Rest assured, though, that we’ll continue to closely monitor the situation in the days ahead.

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