Friday will mark the 234th day in a row without an 80° temperature in Rockford, a truly remarkable drought. In a typical year, such a dry spell spans 196 days. The good news is that our wait for 80° warmth is set to end shortly, and do so in a big way. The better news is that the return of the 80s happens to coincide with Memorial Day Weekend. Here are three things you need to know about the upcoming holiday weekend.
#1 - It will be warm. Temperatures will reach into the 80s each day, and well into the 80s on Sunday and Monday. Should either Sunday or Monday feature enough sunshine, a 90° temperature wouldn't be entirely out of the question. Humidity values will also climb, and by Sunday Night and Monday, the air will have an almost tropical feel.
#2 - It will be wet. Anytime you have the combination of heat and humidity such as the one expected this weekend, the threat for showers and thunderstorms is almost always part of the equation. That will be the case once this go-around. As it stands now, our best rain chances appear to come late Saturday or Saturday Night, and then again on Memorial Day. It's too early to speculate whether or not severe weather will be a concern, though at this time it does not appear to be a widespread threat.
#3 - It won't rain all the time. Though each day of the holiday weekend does carry a rain chance, we are confident, if not downright certain, that there will be plentiful dry hours. In fact, it's likely the dry hours will outnumber the wet ones, and by a rather significant margin. There will even be peeks of sunshine on occasion as well!
With this all in mind, don't cancel any outdoor plans. There will NOT be any all-day washouts. However, be prepared to potentially be flexible, because there may be a few hours here or there that outdoor activities may need to be moved around on account of storms. Also, make sure to have the sunscreen handy, stay hydrated, and find some shade to beat the heat!