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Late-week warmth could usher in thunderstorm chances

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — The recent stretch of fall-like temperatures comes to a dramatic end by the weekend. Alongside building heat and humidity, shower and thunderstorm chances could force you indoors at times.

Terrific Thursday:

Before the summertime weather builds, the end of the work week features seasonably cool temperatures and lower humidity. Dew points, which are the all-too-important number to look at during the summer months, remain in the 50s. Alongside comfortably low humidity, temperatures are going to remain slightly below-average. High temperatures Thursday afternoon climb to near 80°.

High pressure remains firmly in control of the Upper Midwest. This keeps weather at the surface quiet and mostly dry. A shower or two have popped up over Eastern Iowa, but coverage continues to dwindle as they move into drier air. That being said, a very isolated shower cannot be ruled out for areas of Whiteside and Carroll Counties.

An isolated shower is possible early Thursday as an upper-level disturbance pivots across Western Illinois.

The forecast for Thursday remains a "persistence forecast." What does that mean? It simply means that "what you see is what you get." With high pressure still in control, there is little change in the weather from day-to-day.

Friday feels:

As high pressure slips farther east through Friday, southerly winds continue to pull in slightly warmer and more humid air. Dew points by late Friday approach the upper 50s and lower 60s, marking a return to the "muggy feels."

High temperatures Friday climb into the lower 80s to end the work week, which is right about where temperatures should be. A mix of clouds and sunshine see us through the day, with clouds increasing after sunset.

Storm chances this weekend:

The summertime pattern of heat, humidity, and afternoon thunderstorm chances make a comeback. Current thinking shows a decaying complex of thunderstorms diving out of the Dakotas overnight Friday into Saturday. While it's possible this complex does make it into the region, the conditions do not look great for a robust storm complex to survive locally. Of the two weekend days, Sunday is likely to feature slightly less storm coverage.

As temperatures begin to climb, thunderstorm chances increase. Not expecting a washout, but be prepared to head indoors this weekend if thunder roars.

This weekend's bigger weather story is going to be the heat and humidity that builds. Highs Saturday climb into the middle 80s as dew points climb into the lower 70s. Sunday features even warmer conditions, with highs approaching the 90° mark and heat indices near 95°.

Heat indices Sunday afternoon climb into the lower 90s, while areas of Southern Illinois approach the 100° mark.

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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