Just when we thought we were catching a break by having the earliest start to Spring since 1896, Mother Nature delivered us an ugly reminder that she's still very much a force to contend with. Each of Spring's first four days has posted a significant temperature deficit, and Sunday Night's snowfall served to add insult to injury.
Officially, 1.4" of snow came down at the Chicago-Rockford International Airport, while many communities south of the Forest City saw double, in some cases triple that amount! Thankfully, for most, the snow allowed kids home from school an opportunity to play outside, giving parents a respite. Perhaps more fortunate for those ready to move on from Winter is the fact that the warm ground allowed for fast melting of the snow.
For what has seemed like a rather lackluster snow season, it's quite surprising how close to a normal season it's been. Rockford's seasonal snowfall tally now stands at an even 31.0", just four inches shy of normal. And, if history's any guide, we're not finished with snow for the season. Our last measurable snow, historically speaking, comes around April 5, so there's still time to go. In fact, there's plenty of time left for it to snow! Who can forget last April, when significant snow fell during the weekend before AND after Easter? In fact, we've seen an inch or more of snow in each of the past two Aprils, so don't close the book on snow just yet.
With that said, there's no snow coming in our immediate future. In fact, there are telling signs that a milder pattern's about to commence. Each of the next seven days are to feature temperatures in the 50s, with a few days possibly flirting with 60°. Wednesday and next Monday both feature a realistic shot at reaching 60°, should clouds and rainfall stay out of the picture.
The warmth may have some staying power, too! Long-range projections suggest an extended period of warmth is likely to take us into April's opening week, with above normal temperatures expected through April 6. That's not to say there won't be a few cool days here or there, but overall the milder days will outnumber the cool ones. What's more, the pattern's expected to turn drier in the longer term. This would severely limit the potential for any snowfall for at least the next two weeks. And while last year's clear evidence never to shut the book on snowfall in the Stateline in April, it's safe to say the window for snow's return closes a bit more with every passing April day.