At 4:50 a.m. Sunday, the wind chill dipped to -21° at the Chicago Rockford International Airport with an actual temperature of 1°. This Arctic air very much packed a hard punch with it to the Stateline. But you may be asking yourself, why did it feel so sudden? Well the answer is very simple. So far this winter, we've been warmer than normal and had less snow than normal.
For the first half of Meteorological Winter, December 1 through January 15, the average temperature is running 8.1° above normal. In fact, the first half of 2019-20 Meteorological Winter is the fourth warmest start to that season on record. Temperatures averaging out at 32.2°!
Not only have we been warmer than normal for the season, we haven't seen much snow either. Snowfall from December 1 through January 15 was only 4.9", which is 11.5" below the normal (16.4") snowfall between those dates.
Needless to say with this round that packed quite a punch Sunday, it's mother natures first real cold blast of the winter season. Dr. Martin Luther King Day Monday and on Tuesday both look to be cold with high temperatures in the lower 20's. But it will not be as bad as Sunday, as the wind chills will not be as low.
Monday you can expect wind chills hovering around 0°, perhaps going a tad lower into negative territory. This will be prevalent especially in the morning and evening, along with Tuesday morning too. Be sure to bundle up if you will be heading outside. Both days will be dry, as Monday calls for partly cloudy skies and Tuesday under mostly sunny skies.
A pattern change will begin Wednesday, as our winds shift to come out of the south and will thus increase our temperatures. Temperatures will be slightly above normal Wednesday through Saturday, anywhere from 8° to 4° above normal. Forecast high temperatures those days are in the mid to upper 30's.
We are also beginning to monitor or next weather-maker that will arrive in the Stateline late Wednesday night and will be around through late Friday. As of now we know the following:
1. It brings both rain and snow along with it.
2. Has the POTENTIAL for accumulating snow.
3. Track is still very uncertain, among many other important factors like exact temperatures and more.
We're still several days out from this and with our temperatures being mainly above freezing, but yet so close, this is something we'll continue to monitor because these weather-makers are very temperature dependent.
We'll be able to fine-tune the forecast for this system once we get closer to the middle of the week. But keep an eye on the forecast!