Several rain chances on tap over the coming week, though washouts highly unlikely
It's no secret the Stateline is in desperate need of rainfall. While there was hope that weekend thunderstorms could generate up to an inch of rainfall, the storms, quite simply, failed to live up to the hype. In all, just 0.02" of rain came down officially in Rockford this weekend, though there were a few spots that picked up slightly more. Overall, though, it's the latest in a series of disappointments in the rainfall department that has homeowners employing sprinklers with increased regularity in an attempt to prevent, or at least slow, lawns from drying out.
While a few clusters of showers and storms briefly impacted the Stateline Monday, they failed to add any significant moisture to our ground. With 0.16" officially having fallen at the Chicago-Rockford International Airport Monday, June's monthly total now sits at 2.28". That's 1.23" below where we should sit by June 22. What's more, our once-healthy rainfall surplus for 2020 is shrinking fast, and will likely continue to erode in the absence of any notable rainfall over the next two to three days.
There's cause for optimism, though! The pattern over the next several days looks promising for several chances for showers and thunderstorms. Initially, the chances are quite low, and any rainfall early in the week will not produce prolific amounts, but later in the week and toward the weekend, there's at least the potential for more appreciable rains to fall.
We're headed for a cooler pattern the next few days, as winds realign out of the northwest. Both Tuesday and Wednesday are to start off with a good amount of sunshine. However, as the afternoon progresses, the presence of cold air aloft will create an increasingly unstable atmosphere. This will encourage the development of clouds, and eventually a few showers and perhaps an isolated thunderstorm in the mid to late afternoon hours each day. It must be noted, these storms will be very widely scattered, and they're not likely to cover the entire area. Instead, they'll appear on the radar to look like popcorn kernels, comprised of many small cells. Any showers that do occur will likely be brief, lasting no more than five to ten minutes at a time.
Following a quiet day Thursday, there appears to be at least one, and quite possibly two decent chances for storms Friday. The first is to come early in the day, as a warm front lifts northward through the area. The second appears likely to come Friday Night, as a cold front approaches the area from the Northwest. As our air then is to be hotter and noticeably more humid, these would show the best hope at dropping some heavier downpours.
What'll be interesting to see is how that cold front positions itself this weekend. Current projections suggest the front will hang up somewhere nearby through the weekend and possibly into next week. Should it be situated close to our area, it could make the Stateline an atmospheric battleground, which could make for quite a stormy pattern for several days. More likely, the front will hang up just to our north, bringing the battleground, and the best rain chances, to Wisconsin. Locally, that would support several days of heat and humidity, as well as a chance for a few hit or miss stormy periods here or there.
Our Planning Forecast contains rain chances on six of the next seven days. They break down as follows, 30% Tuesday, 40% Wednesday, 60% Friday, 50% Saturday, 30% Sunday, and 30% Monday. Rain-free hours are promised each day, rendering none of them complete washouts. The hope is that even an hour or two of rain each day will add up nicely. NOAA's Weather Prediction Center offers reason to believe that may end up being the case! Its forecast of weekly rainfall calls for most, if not all of the Stateline to pick up an inch or more of rain between now and next Monday.