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2021 gets off to a mild start

ROCKFORD (WREX) — Once we get past New Year's Day, the first week of the new year looks fairly mild. The weather warms to the point where "regular" rain is a possibility.

Brief chill:

Average weather for the start of January is slightly below freezing. That won't be the case in 2021. Through next week, temperatures remain slightly above freezing instead. After the weekend, temperatures get a slight boost and get closer to if not into the 40's by the middle of next week.

The first few days of January average near freezing. A slight nudge above freezing is ahead during the first week of January.

Rain showers?:

New Year's Day provides the snow and ice, but the added warmth coming means soggy weather of a different variety. By the middle of next week, temperatures approach 40 degrees. As a storm system moves through the Midwest, showers brew up but the milder weather keeps them as rain rather than snow and ice.

Mild weather may mean rain next week instead of ice and snow.

While rain may fall, we can't rule out icy spots from time to time. The best chance for ice looks to be Wednesday night as temperatures fall back below freezing. If the rain isn't gone by then or the roads haven't dried up yet, we may get some icy patches.

Temperature outlook:

The Climate Prediction Center highlights the mild pattern in their 8 to 14 day outlook. With warmer-than-average temperatures favored during that period, there's a decent chance of above freezing highs being likely.

Above average temperatures are likely through mid-January.

If cold weather is more your speed, the upcoming three months could disappoint. From January through March, the seasonal outlook from the Climate Prediction Center depicts a greater than 33% chance of warmer-than-average temperatures.

This doesn't necessarily mean all cold weather is cancelled. We may just see more mild days than cold ones, or brief very warm spells to counter the many days of cold.

Precipitation outlook:

Through mid-January, above-average precipitation is favored for us. With warmer-than-usual temperatures favored through the first half of January, this could limit the amount of snow the region sees.

Wetter than usual weather is favored through mid-January.

As the La Niña pattern remains in full force during the winter months, precipitation over the Upper Midwest could be plentiful. Through March, the target of much above average precipitation is over the Ohio River Valley. Closer to the Stateline, a 30-40% chance of above average precipitation exists.

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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