Warming to commence Wednesday, weekend on track to be warmest since August

The past three days have been nothing short of miserable in the weather department. For a third consecutive day, a pesky low pressure system parked to our southeast kept a thick overcast in tow, along with gusty northeasterly winds as well as light rain and drizzle. That dreadful combination produced high temperatures Tuesday in the 50s across the majority of the Stateline, only touching 60° officially in Rockford.

Improvements are to get underway Wednesday, as the weakening area of low pressure slides ever so slightly eastward, allowing high pressure to nudge closer from the west. The end result will be at least some mixed sunshine, especially during the afternoon hours. Continued easterly winds, however, will keep temperatures in check, with highs reaching the upper 60s to near 70°, a few ticks below seasonal norms. Slightly more sun along with a slightly more southeasterly component to the breeze Thursday should allow for another modest rise in temperatures to near normal levels.

Friday's the day to see the commencement of more significant warming. Winds Friday are to organize out of the southeast, eliminating most, if not all, of the lake-induced cooling that had been prevalent all week. That's to send temperatures into the middle and perhaps even upper 70s, despite growing indications that cloud cover will be increasing as the day goes on. Should clouds hold off long enough, a few spots could flirt with 80° Friday.

Winds continue their shift into the weekend, blowing with gusto out of the south both Saturday and Sunday. Meteoric temperature rises are set to continue, and humidity levels are to surge as well, lending the air a true summer-like feel. 80s appear likely to return by Saturday, and temperatures are poised to likely reach the middle to upper 80s Sunday. Should temperatures reach the 80° both Saturday and Sunday, and there's strong evidence to say they will, it'll be the first weekend since August 3-4 to feature 80s on both weekend days. That's a whopping 42 weekends ago!

The warmth does come at a cost, however. Not surprisingly, the unseasonable warmth and elevated humidity will add quite a bit of energy into the air, which will, at times, turn the Stateline into a breeding ground for showers and thunderstorms, and potentially a few active ones at that. While it's premature to pin down specific details on any storm threats, it's something we'll watch closely in the coming days. That said, we do not appear likely to be headed for any all-day washouts like this past Sunday. Rather, any storm activity we'd see would likely be on the scattered side, lasting an hour or two here and there.

80s appear likely to maintain residence through at least Memorial Day and next Tuesday, and quite possibly longer than that.