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Fog, warm temps and mud. February weather in northern Illinois.

13 WREX meteorologist John Jurgens
13 WREX meteorologist John Jurgens

Jason Cregier: And this is This Week in Weather. Joining me is John Jurgens. He's a meteorologist at 13 WREX and Rockford. How're you doing this morning, John?

John Jurgens: I'm doing all right. It's a nice, beautiful day for a change. Nice day out there, Jason.

Well, and that leads to my first question, what's causing all the warm weather of late?

Well, we've had a ridge of high pressure. So, in the upper atmosphere that's been going on the last few days. That's why last week we were in the 50s. I mean, it was just unbelievable for early February, but we cooled off a little bit, but unfortunately, it's going to change. I hate to bring some bad news, but it is going to change towards midweek. We get into a little bit of a pattern change with more typical February weather. But it’s in the 40s now. I'm planning on going outside and taking a walk with this beautiful weather. But we’re going to get closer to average later in the week.

I saw two guys out on the golf course when I was driving home from work Friday, and it just hit me like a ton of bricks. I had to ask myself, “Am I in Northern Illinois, right now?”

It's amazing. We almost got to 60 on Thursday. It was incredible. It's not often that I can outside without a jacket on this time of year. It was just incredible.

That warm weather has led to some oddities though. Besides having some nice sunshine, there were tornadoes in Wisconsin last week. That must be the earliest on record in southern Wisconsin, right?

I'm not sure if it's the earliest on record. I do know, it was the first two tornadoes in Wisconsin's history in the month of February, which was extraordinary. One was an EF1 and the other was an EF2. They're still kind of picking up the pieces up there. It was a very unique event. Being the first two in history, in February, that was mind boggling to me.

With the quick warm up, and snow melting across much of the northern part of the state, are river levels OK now? Are flooding risks low?

I think so. Thankfully, there wasn't all that much snow, and it was kind of slow to melt. There was that period where it was above freezing, but it was still cloudy. So, the snow didn't all melt within a few days, and we got lucky with this here and across Wisconsin. There's pretty much no snow on the ground, even up in northern Wisconsin towards Lake Superior. So, there's very little snow. It's kind of an extraordinary winter here.

With higher temperatures and snow melt, did that cause some of that fog that we had for a while?

And if we have some clouds coming up in the future, can we expect to see less of that heavy fog? It was like a horror movie out there for about two weeks.

The snow played a big role in that. That's why the fog was out there for so long. The snow melting just added extra moisture to the surface. Thankfully, we're not dealing with too much fog now. We do enter a little more active pattern, maybe some rain or snow showers potentially Wednesday night into Thursday. We'll have to see if fog could come in there. We had a little bit this morning, just because temperatures got so low. But I don't think we'll see much of the dense, like you said “horror movie” fog. But I don't think we have a whole lot of that coming up.

This is kind of a silly, dumb question. And it is not scientific in any regard, but have you ever heard the term "mud winter?"

A mud winter? Yeah. Honestly, that's probably what I'd call this one. There's been just so little snow, right?

I mean we had one week of winter. Really, there was that one week in January, we had snow and then we got below zero for like two or three days. But I mean, ever since then. We've been above average with temps in the 30s, 40s and 50s. Yeah. A mud winter, mud spring, I guess.

John, thanks for checking in with us. And where can people see you?

You can see me on 13 WREX. I'm on the four o'clock shows Wednesday through Friday, and then also on the weekend.

Well, thanks for the info. John, you have a good week.

You too, Jason. Take care.


John Jurgens is a meteorologist for 13 WREX TV in Rockford.