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One more warm day before rain and storms bring much cooler weather

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — Tuesday afternoon brought near 80° high temperatures to the Stateline ahead of a cold front. While temperatures Wednesday afternoon are slightly cooler, an even more significant blast of chill is ahead for the second half of the work week.

Quite a number of hail reports were found during Tuesday evening's strong storms.

Wednesday's weather changes:

Wednesday morning features the threat for dense fog, thanks in part to last Tuesday's rain and thunderstorms. Residual moisture in the atmosphere has allowed for dense fog to develop early on. A dense fog advisory is in effect for some, as visibility is forecast to drop to near a quarter of a mile.

Beyond the morning fog, a mostly cloudy day is ahead with rain chances returning later into the afternoon. Rain potential comes along as a cold front marches through the Midwest. While a few claps of thunder are possible, severe weather is expected to remain south of I-80. Much like Tuesday's severe weather locally, downstate Illinois could be dealing with large hail and damaging winds.

Severe storms are forecast to remain south of the Rockford area. Large hail is the primary concern for any thunderstorms that manage to develop.

Rain is likely to begin slightly earlier Wednesday afternoon, with the first showers dotting the radar by between 2 and 4 PM. By this evening, showers and storms move out of the Stateline, leaving behind clearing skies by Thursday morning.

Here comes the chill:

The cold front that comes through late Wednesday is going to pull in an abundance of cooler weather. By Thursday morning, we'll be feeling that chill across northern Illinois. Temperatures start in the middle 30s and only manage to get into the middle to upper 40s.

Some sunshine is possible, but model guidance is suggesting the potential for a few wind-whipped rain or snow showers. Looking aloft, temperatures fall below freezing at around 1500-feet, which explain why snow could fall even with highs well above freezing. Whether precipitation falls as rain, snow, or a mix of both, it should wrap up by Thursday evening.

Rain, snow, and even graupel are possible Thursday afternoon.

On top of cooler temperatures and the threat for rain or snow showers, wind is going to be top of mind Thursday. As the area of low pressure exits the Midwest, it's forecast to deepen. This is going to lead to wind gusts out of the northwest to 40 to 50 miles per hour.

Sunny end to the week:

Friday is going to bring a return to mostly sunny skies, but it won't help temperatures much. Highs to wind down another work week are going to be in the upper 40s to near 50.

Wednesday's warmth gives way to much cooler conditions by late-week. Even colder temperatures appear possible into early next week.

Rain chances return for the weekend:

Friday's sunshine is going to give way to rain chances for the upcoming weekend. It's still too early to say if it is going to be a total washout, but both Saturday and Sunday feature decent chances for rain.

Justin Ballard

Justin Ballard joined 13 WREX as the weekday morning meteorologist. He’s a proud graduate of UNC-Charlotte and happy to call Rockford home.

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