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Cold air and strong winds leave Thursday feeling wintry

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — Storms leave the forecast for a while, but so does the warm weather. Chilly conditions may leave the Stateline feeling a little wintry through early next week.

Cold, windy Thursday:

Overnight, temperatures fall to just above freezing. Breezy northwest winds kick in, and could drop wind chills in to the 20's by sunrise.

The cold air really settles in by Thursday afternoon. Temperatures may only warm back into the middle 40's, or about 10 degrees below average. Northwest winds also pick up a lot during this time. Sustained winds reach 20 to 25 mph, while wind gusts rise to 40 mph or greater.

While winds this strong won't cause damage, we may see a few small branches get blown down, and power lines may start to sway. Difficult driving conditions should be expected. Loose objects and loose structures like tents will definitely get blow around, so make sure those are either secured properly or taken down! The winds should settle down again Thursday night.

Brief heavy snow showers and graupel may be possible Thursday afternoon.

Since the upper atmosphere will be so cold, we may see a few scattered showers of both rain and snow. The rain/snow mix starts up around noon, then brief snow showers take over from there. Look for these to be scattered with a partly cloudy day (so expected some sunshine, even during the afternoon). Accumulations won't happen, but the brief heavy snow showers may drop visibility, so be careful while driving. The spotty snow wraps up by the evening, then dry weather resumes from there.

Cool weekend:

Overall, the colder weather will win out for the extended stretch after a warm start to the week. Temperatures remain in the 40's to 50 degrees on Friday, and in the low to middle 50's over the weekend.

The weather at least settles down, stays dry, and turns to sunny by Friday. We may still see some breezy winds at times.

Chilly weather at night may lead to frost several times over the weekend and early next week.

Over the weekend, scattered rain showers are possible, with a few snowflakes mixing in from time to time. Just like with Thursday, little to no accumulation is likely. Early next week, temperatures remain below average in the 40's to 50's. Because of the colder weather, the nights may become frosty. Protect any sensitive plants and vegetation at night if necessary.

Alex Kirchner

Alex Kirchner is the Chief Meteorologist at 13 WREX. He joined the 13 Weather Authority in 2014 and brings over a decade of forecasting experience to the weather department. Alex earned Certified Broadcast Meteorologist recognition from the American Meteorological Society, and his work at WREX earned him a Best TV Weathercaster award from the Illinois Broadcasters Association and a regional Emmy.

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