Warm spell to span several more days, though changes coming into view
First substantial snow of the season a legitimate possibility next week
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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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