Warmth to persist Wednesday despite increased cloudiness

Major changes arrive beginning Thursday
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 7:01 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The past week and a half has been nothing short of spectacular in the weather department. Temperatures have been consistently mild and there’s been no shortage of sunshine each and every day.

Tuesday marks the tenth straight day during which the Stateline failed to witness a drop of rainfall, making this now the longest stretch of dry weather since an eleven day spell back in April.

Tuesday was the tenth straight without rain in the Stateline, making this the longest dry spell...
Tuesday was the tenth straight without rain in the Stateline, making this the longest dry spell since April.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

That streak may be in some danger of ending Wednesday, though it’s hardly a foregone conclusion. More clouds are due in overnight into early Wednesday morning. The arrival of this initial cloudiness is good news, though, as the clouds will serve as a blanket, allowing temperatures to remain slightly less chilly than in nights past.

A few more clouds are due in overnight, keeping temperatures a bit milder.
A few more clouds are due in overnight, keeping temperatures a bit milder.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

While Wednesday’s to start on a considerably more cloudy note than the past several days, sunshine won’t be entirely absent. In fact, a good deal of sunshine is to mix with a veil of high clouds early on in the day.

Some sunshine is likely early in the day Wednesday, but clouds are likely to stream in as the...
Some sunshine is likely early in the day Wednesday, but clouds are likely to stream in as the day goes on.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Clouds are to thicken more as we approach the noon hour, though southwesterly winds are to keep temperatures on the mild side. It’s widely believed that temperatures will reach the lower to middle 70s once again.

Cloud cover will thicken as the day progresses, but southwesterly winds will keep temperatures...
Cloud cover will thicken as the day progresses, but southwesterly winds will keep temperatures on the warm side.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)
Temperatures Wednesday should reach the 70s once again, but changes are to follow.
Temperatures Wednesday should reach the 70s once again, but changes are to follow.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Thicker cloud cover is anticipated late in the afternoon Wednesday, and a very isolated sprinkle or light rain shower isn’t to be entirely ruled out. However, we’ll place those chances at less than 10%.

Clouds may yield a few sprinkles or widely scattered showers late Wednesday afternoon, with...
Clouds may yield a few sprinkles or widely scattered showers late Wednesday afternoon, with better chances holding off until after sunset.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

As an area of low pressure approaches Wednesday evening and overnight, chances for rain will go up a bit, though they’re far from guaranteed. Temperatures Wednesday night aren’t expected to drop much below 50° thanks to the thicker cloud cover anticipated.

Better shower chances are to arrive during the evening and overnight hours.
Better shower chances are to arrive during the evening and overnight hours.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Thursday’s to be the day of change, as things appear right now. It’ll start out mildly enough, with southwesterly winds early on propelling temperatures into the middle and upper 60s.

Thursday will start off mildly, but a cold front will pass through the area around midday,...
Thursday will start off mildly, but a cold front will pass through the area around midday, allowing for a crash to commence.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

A cold front is to pass through the area around midday, give or take an hour or two. It’ll give us a chance for a few scattered showers here or there, but the most noticeable impact will be from a wind shift to the northwest, and a gusty one at that. By the afternoon, winds will gust up to 30mph out of the northwest, which will naturally send temperatures crashing. While high temperatures will go into the books as having been in the middle and upper 60s, we’ll likely find ourselves down into the 50s by the late afternoon.

A few sprinkles remain possible early Thursday afternoon, and temperatures will be crashing...
A few sprinkles remain possible early Thursday afternoon, and temperatures will be crashing during that time as well.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)
Cooler air will be on the move in a big way Thursday.
Cooler air will be on the move in a big way Thursday.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Clearing skies Thursday night will allow temperatures to cool into the 30s, and gusty breezes may send wind chills down into the 20s in many spots. Friday morning could bring a few patches of frost to the area.

The good news about Friday is that sunshine will be featured rather prominently. The bad news, though, is that we’ll be under the influence of true Canadian air, meaning that despite the sunshine, temperatures are really going to struggle. Highs Friday aren’t to get much above 50° areawide, and might not even reach 50° in a spot or two.

Temperatures Friday are going to struggle to get much past 50°.
Temperatures Friday are going to struggle to get much past 50°.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Friday night will bring clear skies and lighter winds, a prime recipe for ideal cooling conditions. All signs continue to point to temperatures falling to 32° or below, likely bringing to an end the 2022 growing season.

A freeze remains very likely to occur Friday night into Saturday morning.
A freeze remains very likely to occur Friday night into Saturday morning.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

While it may feel a bit early to have a freeze here, especially coming off this lengthy mild stretch, it’s actually not. Historically speaking, our first freeze, on average, occurs on October 9, meaning 2022′s first freeze will only come a day earlier than normal. It will, however, come quite a bit earlier than it has the past five years, and earlier than in every year since 2012.

This year's first freeze will occur quite early compared to the past five years, but actually...
This year's first freeze will occur quite early compared to the past five years, but actually only a day earlier than our average first freeze.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Wall-to-wall sunshine Saturday will help matters some, but not much. We’re to expect temperatures to remain in the middle and upper 50s Saturday, though another round of frost is possible again Saturday night.

We won't get out of the 50s on Saturday, but we'll at least be heading the right way.
We won't get out of the 50s on Saturday, but we'll at least be heading the right way.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

60s are to return underneath sunny skies Sunday, and 70s could potentially return here as early as next Tuesday!