Cloudy start, much warmer day ahead

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ROCKFORD (WREX) – Last night’s rain has left behind cloudy skies, but as a warm front lifts, big changes will take shape.

Rain and thunderstorms may have woken you up late last night.  They packed a lot of lightning and even pockets of heavy rain.  Most in the region received less than one-inch.

The rain has come to an end, but cloudy skies remain in place.  If you’re preparing for work, you should be okay to leave the rain gear at home.  A warm front is draped across Central Illinois, which will lift north later this morning.  That warm front will help scour out cloud cover, but it will also usher in much warmer temperatures.

Yesterday’s wind will continue to be a part of today’s forecast.  This time, instead of easterly winds, the gusty breezes will be out of the southwest.  That direction will also help to push in much warmer conditions.  Winds could gust as high as 35 MPH, making travel along east-to-west roads — such as Highway 20 — difficult for high profile vehicles and semis.

Dry weather will be temporarily paused overnight as a cold front inches into the region.  While widespread severe weather is not expected, the region is under a marginal risk (1 out of 5) for severe thunderstorms.  The primary threat with line of storms that moves in around midnight will be gusty winds, but some hail cannot be ruled out.

Models suggest rain and storms come to an end by tomorrow morning, meaning your commute to school or work should be relatively headache-free.

Thursday looks dry with plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures.  Another near-80 degree day is likely ahead, despite a cold frontal passage.

Friday is another day to stay weather aware.  The same cold front that pushes through Thursday will lift north as a warm front by the end of this week.  This could spark another round of strong to severe thunderstorms, with large hail and damaging winds looking most likely.

An unsettled weekend is possible, with rain and thunderstorm chances both days.

Justin Ballard

Justin Ballard

Morning Meteorologist

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Alex Kirchner

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Justin Ballard

Justin Ballard is the meteorologist for 13 News Today and 13 News at Noon.

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