The mercury soared to a high of 94 degrees in Rockford to start the work week yesterday. The high of 94 Monday was 16 degrees above normal and just 3 degrees shy of the 97 degree record high for the date set back in 1955. The 90 + temperature was also Rockford’s 13th 90 degree high of 2013.The heat coupled with dew points in the low 70’s made it feel above 100 degrees in most spots during the peak heating hours yesterday afternoon. The peak heat index in Rockford reached 104. Other areas to our west and south were even hotter with a 109 heat index in Freeport and 107 in DeKalb.
Southerly winds pushed the heat all the way up to the Lake Michigan shoreline, with temperatures topping out at 95 degrees. 90 degree highs were recorded in over 30 states yesterday under a massive dome of high pressure centered in the middle portion of the country! Record highs were set in Iowa where temperatures topped out near and above 100 degrees in most spots.
It’s not very often that meteorologists forecast record highs or lows, but the forecast is calling for even hotter temperatures for northern Illinois for Tuesday. Record breaking temperatures are forecasted for Rockford for Tuesday with temperatures reaching the mid to upper 90s, which is some 20 degrees warmer than the average high for the date of 78. The forecast is for 97 and the record for the date is 96 set back in 1931. Some of the hottest spots to our west and south could reach or exceed 100! A high of 96 or higher would tie or exceed the highest temperature seen in the Rockford area in 2013.
With stronger southerly winds today than yesterday, more mixing will occur and dew points will not be as high, although it will still be very humid and oppressive out there. Heat indices will be near or slightly over 100 degrees in many spots. Extreme caution is urged if you have to spend any extended period of time outdoors, especially the very young and very old. Several schools in the Rockford and Chicago metro areas have closed or called for early dismissal due to the late season heat wave.
Temperatures tomorrow will not be as hot as highs will be some 5 to 10 below what they were today, but still 5 to 10 degrees above normal for this time of the year. A slight chance of rain exists during the overnight hours tonight and into Wednesday. High temperatures tomorrow will depend on the timing of the rain overnight/tomorrow and how much cloud cover is out there. The more sun we get tomorrow and the later the storms tomorrow ahead of the approaching cold front will allow us to warm to maybe a 3 straight day of 90 degrees.
Thursday will be much cooler and less humid, and Friday could be the first below normal day in over a week as temperatures look to not make it out of the middle 60s and overnight lows Friday morning and Saturday morning look to be only in the middle to upper 40s, some 50 degrees cooler than the afternoon highs today!
36 Hour Forecast:
This Afternoon: Sunny very hot, with a record high of 97 degrees. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph, with gusts up to 20 mph. Heat indices near 100 degrees.
This Evening: Mostly clear, still warm, with temperatures near 90. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph, with higher gusts.
Tonight: Warm and humid. A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after midnight. Low around 68. Light west southwest winds.
Tomorrow Morning: Temperatures in the low 70s. 30 Percent chance of thunderstorms. Partly sunny, west southwest winds 5 to 10 mph.
Tomorrow Afternoon: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 1 pm.
Tomorrow Night: Much cooler and much less humid. Partly cloudy. Northwest winds around 5 to 10 mph.