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ROCKFORD (WREX) — Warm and muggy conditions headline the weekend forecast. Chances for rain dwindle following a cold front on Saturday.
The three H's of summer return:
The muggy air slid in with the warmer weather Thursday, setting us up for a hot and humid end to the work week. Friday rises to near 90° in most Stateline locations. When factoring in the dew points, the heat index hits the middle 90s to even upper 90s during the afternoon. The overnight hours do not feature much in the way of cooling relief, as lows only drop into the low 70s.
The heat peaks on Saturday, at least when "feels like" temperatures are factored in. Temperatures inch up a degree or two Saturday, with highs in the low 90s. Higher humidity means the heat index may hit 100° by Saturday afternoon. Take it easy, have a spot to cool off, and drink plenty of water this weekend!
A "dry" heat returns Sunday:
Sunday remains in the lower to middle 90s. A drier air mass moves in by the end of the work week. Instead of heat index values in the upper 90s, the "feels like" temperature might be a degree or two cooler than the air temperature. Same goes for next Monday and beyond: the "dry" heat is still plenty warm, but the drier air keeps from adding insult to injury.
We stay in the low 90s through Wednesday, then a slight cool down arrives on Thursday. Don't get your hopes too high for a significant cool down, because highs Thursday only drop into the upper 80s. By late next week, highs drop into the middle 80s. That level of heat is still around average for late July, so cooler weather doesn't come back anytime soon.
Only a few storms likely:
On top of the muggy weather, the Friday and Saturday bring a slight chance for showers and storms. Most spots end up staying dry, but we have to keep an eye out for a raindrop or two.
Friday stays dry through most of the day. During the late afternoon and evening, a few spotty showers and storms may bubble up in the afternoon heat. This won't be widespread enough to cancel outdoor plans, just pay attention to radar. If you hear a rumble of thunder, move indoors immediately.
We have a better chance at more widespread showers and storms Saturday evening. A cold front slides into the region, and could spark storms by the evening hours. However, there's a chance the front doesn't overcome how the atmosphere is set up on Saturday, and we end up staying dry. If storms are able to get going, strong to severe thunderstorms are possible. Strong winds are the primary concern for any storms that do turn severe. The storms should be out of the picture by Saturday night.