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Approaching cold front drops temperatures closer to average

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — Tuesday's highs reached into the 40s thanks to a combination of sunshine and southwesterly winds. A passing cold front Tuesday night promises a return to more typical temperatures for late February.

Temperatures fall closer to average by Thursday and Friday.

Cloudy & mostly dry night:

A cold front is positioned just to the north of the Stateline, but is on the move late Tuesday. Ahead of that approaching cold front, clouds have steadily been on the increase.

Through the overnight hours Tuesday into Wednesday, expect mostly cloudy skies to be the trend. The cloud cover's bark is worse than the bite, because many areas in the Stateline remain dry.

Rain and snow should generally remain north of the Stateline Tuesday into Wednesday morning.

High-resolution models continue to hint at a very isolated sprinkle or light shower. Precipitation chances top out between 10% and 20%, which means 90% to 80% of the region remains dry. If precipitation does manage to fall, it would likely do so in the form of light rain and not snowfall.

Winds of change:

Westerly and southwesterly winds have been with the Stateline for the better part of 48-hours. That changes with Tuesday night's cold frontal passage. A shift to northwesterly winds by Wednesday result in a "not-so-warm" feel, even though highs top out just a few degrees cooler than Tuesday.

Forecast wind chills Wednesday afternoon settle in the 20s.

Northwesterly wind gusts to 25 miles per hour could keep wind chills in the 20s during the day Wednesday. Temperatures during the overnight hours both Wednesday and Thursday dip into the teens, which is closer to average.

Near 40° for the weekend?:

Highs dip Wednesday and Thursday, but the cooldown is brief. By the weekend, high temperatures climb back into the upper 30s and lower 40s.

A few models indicate the potential for wintry weather in two rounds: late Friday night and again on Sunday. At this point, this potential doesn't look too impactful. Continue to monitor the forecast on-air and online for any potential changes in the days to come.

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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