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Strong winds, rain showers, and a hint of snow all hit this weekend

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — The weekend weather is a little wild between a windy Saturday and a cold, rainy Sunday. Our first snowflakes of the fall may try to sneak in with Sunday's rain.

Windy Saturday:

Like on Wednesday, strong winds strikes again Saturday. However, the winds may be a little stronger. The winds will be out of the south at 15 to 30 mph. Wind gusts reach 45 mph, and could hit 55 mph at times.

Strong winds kick back in Saturday.

Wind Advisories highlight when and where the strongest of the winds strike. The strong winds start up after 11 am, and could last as late as 7 pm. The worst of the winds hit between 1 pm and 5 pm.

Make sure any loose objects like garbage cans and Halloween decorations don't blow away. Tree branches may blow down, which could lead to power outages. Driving becomes difficult, especially on east-to-west running roads.

Fires can start and spread quickly in the areas highlighted Saturday.

The strong winds lead to dangerous fire conditions in spots. A Fire Weather Watch is in effect after 10 am Saturday, highlighting where conditions are right for fires to spread quickly.

Take some precautions Saturday between the strong winds and the very dry air and brush.

In these conditions, the air is very dry, and there is plenty of dry brush (and dry leaves). Strong winds can blow embers and fire around easily. All of this combines to create conditions where fires can start quickly and spread even faster. In these dangerous conditions, do not do any kind of open burning, and be very careful with sparks and cigarettes.

One side effect to the wind: the weather warms up nearly 10 degrees! Temperatures are back in the middle 60's Saturday afternoon.

Cold, rainy (snowy?) Sunday:

By Sunday, a cold front hits the Stateline and drops our temperatures about 20 degrees. We go from the middle 60's on Saturday to the middle 40's by Sunday afternoon.

During the temperature drop, rain showers are likely in the morning. Look for a steady rain to start up about an hour before sunrise, and last into the late morning.

Rain showers come Sunday morning, though models hint that a few snowflakes may mix in.

Since the air is much colder Sunday morning, especially above us in the clouds, a few snowflakes may mix in with the rain. Before you worry about accumulations, remember this: temperatures and especially the ground and pavement are still too warm for anything to stick.

Cold air may not arrive in time to generate snow, but if it does, we won't see any accumulation.

Furthermore, the cold air may not catch up with the rain showers in time to cause the precipitation to freeze. If we do get any snow, look for just a few flakes to mix in with the rain. Not even a dusting is expected for accumulation.

The rest of Sunday looks dry and somewhat cloudy. Temperatures only warm into the middle 40's as mentioned above.

Up and down next week:

Monday could repeat Sunday's weather a little: temperatures stay in the middle 40's, and rain showers develop again. A few snowflakes may try to mix in early in the morning.

The weather gets milder from there. Tuesday and Wednesday warm into the 50's. A cloudy sky stays overhead, and a slight chance for rain is possible as well.

By Thursday, more rain showers are likely, but temperatures return to the low 60's. We'll see only rain since the weather will be too warm for anything else.

Late next week, we may drop back into the 40's along with slight chances for showers.

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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