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Heavier rainfall possible as cooler air moves in

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -- Instead of scattered afternoon showers and storms, widespread rainfall Thursday may produce some hefty rain totals. Behind Thursday's rain, the weather switches up a lot with cooler temperatures and drier air.

Wednesday showers:

A few quick downpours hit this evening, then the weather dries up late.

The remainder of the evening features scattered showers and storms. Severe weather isn't likely, since the atmosphere isn't as unstable as yesterday. That means there's less energy building up, so showers and storms won't get as strong. However, quick downpours and gusty winds are still possible.

The rain and storms may linger until 10 pm, then the rain dries up. Like the last few nights, dry condition are expected overnight with lows in the 60's.

Thursday showers:

A cold front moves in colder and less humid air for late this week, while heavy rain may move in ahead of the front Thursday.

Thursday starts out dry, then showers and storms arrive in the afternoon and evening. A cold front sparks the showers and storms. Unlike earlier in the week, tomorrow's rain is more widespread. Most locations will pick up at least some rainfall. Since the showers may last a while and could be a little intense, rain may pile up to 1" or more in some spots.

Rain totals may quickly top 1" Thursday, and may lead to pockets of flooding.

Isolated flash flooding may be possible. There is a slight risk for rapid flooding due to the higher amounts of rain in the last 2 weeks. The ground can't hold as much as it usually can, so it may not take too much before flash flooding occurs. Remember- avoid any flooded roads or areas. Find a drier and safe route if traveling.

The rain comes to an end by Thursday night, and we may not see showers return until early next week.

Much cooler weekend:

Temperatures take a plunge back to spring levels by the weekend.

Behind Thursday's cold front, conditions look a lot different. Temperatures drop 10 to 15 degrees compared to earlier in the week. That means highs in the low 70's to upper 60's between Friday and Sunday.

The humidity will be down a lot as well. We'll go from well within the humid range to no hints of humidity at all. The comfortable conditions stay this way until at least Monday.

The weather remains sunny and dry Friday through Sunday. Slight chances for rain may develop early next week, but for the most part Monday through Wednesday may stay dry as well. Temperatures warm to the 80's again with higher humidity by next Wednesday.

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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