ROCKFORD (WREX) — One last quiet day is ahead before summer-like temperatures and storms return for the weekend.
Dry and cloudy Friday:
This week hasn't featured much sunshine at all. Since last Friday, the 15th, the Rockford area has seen about 90% cloud cover, leaving very little room for any sunshine. Cloudy skies are going to persist through the day Friday allowing for another seasonably cool day.
Some guidance hints at a stray shower or two early in the afternoon, but coverage of this looks to remain minimal. Saturday could bring changes to the forecast, namely warmer temperatures and the threat for strong storms.
An area of low pressure is going to move out of the Great Plains by early Saturday. Ahead of its arrival, temperatures Saturday are going to climb into the middle and upper 70s. Some locations could see 80°, especially if any sun manages to peek from behind mostly cloudy skies.
The added heat and humidity is going to allow for the development of strong storms by the afternoon. In terms of timing for severe potential, the window is fairly narrow and exists between about 1 PM to 6 PM.
All modes of severe weather are on the table Saturday afternoon. An elevated risk for isolated tornadoes is present simply because of the spin that is going to be present in the atmosphere. Aside from the isolated tornado threat, large hail and damaging winds are the largest risks from Saturday's storms.
Given how wet things have been over the last two weeks, flash flooding could become a concern if any storms train over the same locations. Folks along area rivers, which are already running higher than average, should pay close attention to river levels through the weekend.
Temperatures near 80° Saturday are going to give way to warmer temperatures Sunday. In fact, after over 230 consecutive days, the first 80° day is likely. The threat for showers and thunderstorms are there, but it looks as though the region is going to see plenty of dry time and even some sunshine. High temperatures Sunday are going to climb into the middle 80s in Rockford. Some areas could even approach the 90° mark.
It's certainly going to feel like summer for much of the Memorial Day weekend. Dew points are going to begin climbing into the lower 70s both Sunday and Monday.