Significant temperature swings ahead
Arctic blast arrives late Thursday, major thaw not far behind
ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Compared to January’s final day, February’s opener marked quite a shift. One day after recording the coldest temperature in over a year, temperatures Wednesday managed to reach the middle 20s, still quite a bit below the February 1 normal of 30°, but a step in the right direction nonetheless.
Now that we’re into February, let’s broadly gloss over how a typical one plays out in these parts. It’s a month known to feature plenty of wintry weather, as a typical February sees 8.5″ of snow, making it the third snowiest month on the calendar. It’s also one that features quite a bit of warming as well, as our normal high goes from 30° on February 1 to 39° at the end of the month. Normally, our first 55° temperature occurs around February 22.
The next few days are to feature some rather wild temperature swings in the Stateline. We’ll start our Thursday on a sunny, seasonable note, and with a good deal of sunshine working with a southwesterly wind, temperatures should reach the middle and upper 20s by early to mid afternoon. But a cold front is to bring more clouds our way during that time, and a major temperature crash is to loom shortly thereafter.
Come 5:00pm, the front will be through, and sunshine may re-emerge. The bigger story, however will be what happens to our temperatures, which will be in a state of freefall. By 10:00, temperatures will have fallen some 20°, and chills will have plunged well below zero.
Unfortunately, the crash doesn’t stop there. By Friday morning, temperatures will have fallen well below zero, and wind chill values may drop to as low as -25°. While no Wind Chill Advisories have been posted yet by the National Weather Service, it’s not hard to imagine a scenario in which they were to do so sometime Thursday.
Friday’s daytime hours are to play out much like Thursday, at least from a cloud cover standpoint. We start off with sunshine, see clouds approach early in the afternoon, and then the clouds overspread the area during the afternoon. Temperatures, however, will be a different story, as we’re not expecting temperatures to get above 10° at any point during the day.
Much milder air rushes in starting this weekend. Despite extensive cloud cover both Saturday and Sunday, temperatures are projected to reach the middle and upper 30s, and 40s are a distinct possibility both Monday and Tuesday of next week.
Overall, the pattern favors milder than normal temperatures sticking around through the middle of the month.
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