Pattern to turn colder, more active this week

Brutal chill, big snows still absent
Published: Jan. 22, 2023 at 9:32 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Snow enthusiasts have not had much to celebrate so far this winter, to say the very least.

The fact that the 1.6″ of snow that fell officially in Rockford made Sunday the snowiest day of the winter thus far truly encapsulates the lackluster nature of the snow season to date. There are some indications, though, that a few more doses of winter weather may be ahead of us this week, and that a larger pattern change may be on the horizon as we close January and swing into February.

The next few days, however, are to be relatively mild and quiet. We’ll want to be on the lookout for the potential for some fog early in the day Monday, and clouds are certain to remain locked in. It is, however, more likely that we’ll see sunshine emerge, at least in partial form, in the afternoon. Clouds will then return very late in the day or early in the evening, but not until after a high temperature of 34°, making it the 27th straight day to post an above normal temperature.

Clouds are to be around early in the day on Monday.
Clouds are to be around early in the day on Monday.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)
Sunshine is to emerge at some point Monday afternoon.
Sunshine is to emerge at some point Monday afternoon.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)
Clouds are to fill back in Monday evening.
Clouds are to fill back in Monday evening.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

A cloudy sky Monday night ensures that temperatures aren’t to fall much below 30°, and despite there being more in the way of clouds around for most of the day Tuesday, temperatures should again have little trouble getting back into the mid-30s, thanks to winds remaining out of the west-southwest.

Clouds return to the area Tuesday, a few flurries are possible.
Clouds return to the area Tuesday, a few flurries are possible.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)
Clouds are to dominate Tuesday, with a few more snow showers possible overnight.
Clouds are to dominate Tuesday, with a few more snow showers possible overnight.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

Our next weather maker could bring snow our way late Tuesday into Wednesday. Earlier, there appeared to be a possibility of several inches of snow here, but it’s since become clear that the heaviest of the snow is to fall well to our south. Still, there’s at least a chance there could be enough snow to shovel, especially along and south of Interstate 88.

There’s to be a daily chance for flurries or light snow showers Thursday through Sunday, and while no big snows are expected out of any of these disturbances, it’s possible they may could add up to a few inches, collectively speaking.

The late week/weekend shift toward cooler temperatures and a more active pattern is to be somewhat subtle, though bigger changes may arrive as we close out January and open the book on February. There appears to be a more jarring intrusion of colder air in January’s final days and February’s opening days. The current thoughts are that we’re staring at several days with high temperatures in the teens with lows in the single digits. This could carry well into February’s opening week, as indicated by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center in the graphic below.

Temperatures are to turn quite a bit colder from next weekend into early February.
Temperatures are to turn quite a bit colder from next weekend into early February.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

While there still aren’t any signs of a big snow in the next two weeks, the pattern does look to be somewhat active, and with the presence of colder than normal temperatures in place, any disturbance that passes through our region would be snow makers, compared to systems past that have brought several rounds of rain or mixed precipitation.

The pattern may turn a bit more active as well, with elevated snow chances likely longer range.
The pattern may turn a bit more active as well, with elevated snow chances likely longer range.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

The moral of the story for winter weather enthusiasts is simple. Don’t give up on winter just yet. There’s still plenty of time still ahead of us. After all, spring’s official arrival is still 57 days away.