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Brief thaw ahead Tuesday ahead of strong, lengthy cold spell

Snow remains noticeably absent for the foreseeable future
Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 7:01 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Coming off the heels of a rather chilly, but not frigid weekend, the Stateline saw temperatures warm ever so slightly Monday.

Thanks to the return of sunshine during the day’s afternoon hours, temperatures Monday topped out in the upper 20s to lower 30s, levels not considered warm by any stretch of the imagination, but closer to where we should be this time of year.

We’re to continue our warming trend in our temperatures at least for the next 24 hours, but much bigger changes are to follow beginning midweek, and lasting for quite some time thereafter.

Whatever clearing we did see late Monday is to be replaced by increasing cloudiness Monday night, and clouds are likely to dominate on Tuesday. But, the presence of a well-established southerly wind will still be more than enough to overcome the cloudiness, allowing our temperatures to reach the upper 30s to lower 40s

Despite cloudiness expected to dominate Tuesday, southerly winds are to send temperatures much...
Despite cloudiness expected to dominate Tuesday, southerly winds are to send temperatures much warmer.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)
Temperatures Tuesday may very well reach the 40s, though big changes follow.
Temperatures Tuesday may very well reach the 40s, though big changes follow.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Unfortunately, that’s the one and only mild today expected this week. A cold front will pass through sometime Tuesday evening or overnight, bringing with it a very small possibility of a sprinkle or even a few snow flurries during its passage.

A cold front's passage Tuesday evening may bring the area a few brief sprinkles or flurries.
A cold front's passage Tuesday evening may bring the area a few brief sprinkles or flurries.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

The bigger impact of the front’s passage will be the reestablishment of a gusty northwesterly wind, which will send our temperatures spiraling downward Wednesday and beyond.

Sunshine will begin to emerge on Wednesday, but northwesterly breezes will send much colder air...
Sunshine will begin to emerge on Wednesday, but northwesterly breezes will send much colder air into the area in the process.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

The high temperature of 20° Wednesday may very well occur at or slightly after midnight. Temperatures are then to remain steady or gradually fall as the day progresses, this despite the fact that it’s expected more and more sunshine is to emerge as the day wears on.

A clear sky Wednesday night will almost certainly allow temperatures to drop below 0°. Moving forward, as a sprawling Canadian high pressure system sits directly overhead Thursday, temperatures may very well not get out of the single digits, despite the fact that there will be wall to wall sunshine. Even colder temperatures are likely Thursday night, and it’s not out of the question that may prove to be our coldest of the winter thus far.

Temperatures Thursday may be fortunate to reach the double digits.
Temperatures Thursday may be fortunate to reach the double digits.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

This chill’s likely to have some staying power! We will likely remain in a regime where temperatures are well below normal not just through the end of the week, but we continue to have a good deal of confidence that most, if not all of next week will remain cold as well. Current projections suggest that below normal temperatures are likely to take us through the end of the month.

Below normal temperatures are likely to persist through the end of the month.
Below normal temperatures are likely to persist through the end of the month.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Does that offer any hope for snow enthusiasts who’ve been frustrated by the overall lack of snow? Unfortunately, computer models still aren’t latching on to any significant snow systems here at any point over the course of the next two weeks. That’s not to say there won’t be ANY snow. There likely will be SOME here or there. We just don’t see any sort of significant snow of any nature at this time.

There's not a lot of reason for optimism that we'll be turning snowy anytime soon.
There's not a lot of reason for optimism that we'll be turning snowy anytime soon.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

While it’s been a frustrating season for snow lovers here, it’s been anything but in some rather unconventional locations, some not too far from here.

You don't have to go too far to see where there's been big snow this season. Some of the...
You don't have to go too far to see where there's been big snow this season. Some of the locations, though, may surprise you.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

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