Congratulations, Illinois - we've survived the polar vortex as temperatures begin to climb above zero. We will see temperatures get warmer and warmer each day over the next 5, but because our weather likes to be crazy instead of...normal (if such a thing exists) we will not only warm up, we will DRAMATICALLY warm up. By Monday, temperatures will feel almost 100 degrees warmer than they did on Wednesday, especially across northern Illinois.
Above we see approximate high temperatures on Saturday. Much of the state should see readings above freezing. The snowpack may slow down the rebound at first, but eventually the advection of gulf air on southerly winds will win out, and by Monday - shown below- we could see temperatures as much as 20 degrees above average.
Perhaps mother nature is trying to apologize for what she just made us endure, but I doubt it. This warm up will bring its own set of weather issues. Rain. The main driving force behind the warm up will be a trough digging in from the west, allowing for a rather strong surface low to develop in a regime of strengthening jet stream winds. Precipitation will begin is light drizzle on Saturday - perhaps mixed with freezing drizzle - before switching to all rain.
By Monday, a stronger sufrace low will develop, and all guidance is currently in good agreement this system will track well north and west of Illinois. This will bring a potential blizzard to parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin, but rain and maybe even some thunderstorms to Illinois. While amounts don't appear particularly heavy - generally from about half an inch to an inch - this could create some flooding concerns with a rapidly melting snowpack. Of greater concern will be areas along rivers, some which are already experiencing troubles due to ice jams.
A rapid melt plus additional rain along with ice jam issues is something we'll have to monitor carefully. If you live in area prone to these issues you may want to start making preparations just in case. Below is a look at model suggested rain amounts.
So unfortunately the warm up isn't all good news, but we'll stay on top the situation as it evolves. At the very least, we can be glad we'll no longer be freezing!
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