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ROCKFORD (WREX) — A well-advertised cooldown is ahead for the start of a brand new work week. This cooler weather could bring not just rain, but a slushy mid-April snowfall.
Monday's day of transition:
No snow is in the forecast to kick off the work week, so let's establish that upfront. The chance for slushy snow holds off until Tuesday morning. Monday morning is off to a somewhat showery start, as light rain pushes through Northern Illinois ahead of an approaching cold front.
While one might need the rain gear early on, the bulk of the day features dry conditions. Dry does not mean sunny, as cloudy skies result in cooler-than-average high temperatures. Many areas spend the majority of Monday below 50°, with cooler weather to come.
Snow & cold for Tuesday:
The late-April snow potential moves in during the overnight hours Monday into Tuesday. First of all, what isn't expected in terms of snowfall? Major impacts and dangerous travel. What is expected? A slushy accumulation of snow mainly on grassy surfaces through Tuesday, especially along and south of I-88.
In terms of timing, substantial model differences exist regarding when this potential moves in. It does appear as though by 6 a.m. Tuesday, areas south of I-88 stand the best chance of seeing snow. How far north does that shield of snow get? That remains to be seen, however recent trends keep the accumulating snow potential out of Rockford, Freeport, and Belvidere.
There are big differences between a snow in mid-January and a snow in mid-April. The sun angle, warmer ground temperatures, and snow type all play into why a springtime snow doesn't stick around long. This is why impacts to Tuesday's commute appear minimal at this point.
Potential for a killing freeze:
Perhaps the more impactful story for the early week forecast is the threat for a widespread and potentially killing freeze. A freeze watch goes into effect for all of Northern Illinois Tuesday evening through Wednesday morning.
Overnight low temperatures fall into the upper 20s, which could lead to damage to crops and tender vegetation. Take steps before going to bed Tuesday to minimize the potential impact a hard freeze could have.