ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – After seven long days of measurable rainfall, the Stateline can say goodbye to the rain and hello to clearing skies and sunshine. This is going to be the name of the game for the next several days as we also warm-up slightly.
For the first time since the period of October 26-November 1, 2019 the region observed seven days in a row of measurable rainfall. The most rain fell on Tuesday where 2.06 inches of rain fell, breaking its daily rainfall record. The Chicago Rockford International Airport officially observed 6.01 inches of rain from September 6 through Saturday, September 12.
Something that is important in Meteorology is forecast verification. When we go through the verification process, it shows what went wrong in the forecast and the following result. But in this instance, the forecast was nearly spot on. You can see below this graphic that was used on Saturday, September 5 to describe the next weeks rainfall. If you look at the doppler estimated rainfall following that over the next seven days, the spots with the heaviest rain were nearly spot on with the model projections from days in advance. It’s not this perfect every time, trust us. But this is why we go through this process to always learn about how to improve in the future.
But now that the rain is done, we can switch gears to warming up and the return of sunshine! Sunday begins a quiet pattern as the sun returns to heat the region up for a few days of well deserved above normal temperatures. Expect high temperatures in the mid-to-upper 70s Sunday and Monday before inching closer to 80 degrees Tuesday and Wednesday. All of these days will remain quiet with sunny skies dominating.
However this looks to be a brief pattern because by Thursday, a cold front will swing through giving us a very small chance for some rain. It will also give us a slight temperature drop back to near normal in the lower 70s.
While we are talking about quiet conditions here, the continuing active pattern of the Tropics in the Atlantic Ocean continue. As of Saturday night, Tropical Storm Sally has formed just off the Florida Keys and Naples, Florida and is eyeing the Gulf of Mexico over the next few days. With the very warm Gulf waters, Sally will continue to strengthen into a forecast Category 1 Hurricane by Tuesday. This is just a forecast and will be subject to change. But with how warm it is down in that body of water, it’s entirely possible that Sally could strengthen further.
This is something meteorologists and the National Hurricane Center will continue to monitor. For right now, a Hurricane Watch and Storm Surge Watch is now in effect for coastal Alabama and a Tropical Storm Watch in effect for coastal northwest Florida.
Sally’s landfall is most likely from southeast Louisiana, including New Orleans to coastal Alabama on Tuesday.
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