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Windy, sunny and dry. The new March in northern Illinois.

13 WREX meteorologist John Jurgens
13 WREX meteorologist John Jurgens

Jason Cregier: So, we talked back in February, and it was warm. And now it's March. And it's warm. Again, nothing really changed. What's going on there?

John Jurgens: We are seeing a little bit of a combination of two things. First, the overarching theme of the winter has been El Nino, which is the warmer waters in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. That’s what influences our weather as it pushes warmer air farther north. We've been kind of getting into more of the warmer air. And it pushes that colder arctic air farther north. We've just been sitting in the 40s all winter, and since we talked last, we've had a few days in the 70s, which is amazing to consider for late February and early March. The second thing is climate change. I mean, this is a hallmark sign of climate change, that we're seeing these kinds of extremes in terms of these huge temperature swings from the 70s to cooling by fifty degrees the next day. These are the kinds of extreme swings that we're seeing with climate change.

As nice as it's been, how enjoyable is it REEAAALLLYY when the wind is so strong that I'm constantly seeing shingles flying off people's houses in our neighborhood?

This wind has been constant theme, hasn't it? Anytime we get this warm, it has been very windy. Even today we have gusts up to, or over, 30 miles per hour at times. It's been kind of a windy month so far. I've been seeing trash cans just blowing down the road and I’m having to dodge them in my car. But this wind has been another level. Yeah, I agree with you.

I imagine a lot of people are starting to get itchy. I live in a farm community and I'm seeing a lot of planters, a lot of cultivators coming to get washed down, cleaned up and tuned up. Is the soil temperature warming quicker than normal right now? Could we see an earlier than normal planting season?

It's possible. I mean, aside from that one week in January, we never really had a deep, long freeze. Soil temperatures have been warming. Now, not to be glass half empty here, but there are some signs that we may be cooler than average for mid to late March. That kind of throws a wrench into things. It's not a slam dunk, like hey, we can get out and plant early. Because it does look a little bit cooler over the next couple of weeks.

Looking ahead a bit, we have St. Patrick's Day weekend coming up with a big parade in downtown Rockford. Can you give us a slight idea of what you're thinking the weather might do on Saturday?

On Saturday, you might want to have a coat with temperatures hanging in the 50s. But we should be drying out after Wednesday night to Thursday. It looks like we'll be staying dry at this point. But it may just feel a little bit cooler, especially compared to the 60s that we will be feeling over the next couple of days. We'll be down closer to 50 if not the 40s this weekend. So grab the coats.

Will we see you in green this weekend on television?

I don't think so. Because that would actually mess up how we do TV because of the green screen. I don't know, maybe I could jump into one of those green suits and you would just see a floating pattern or something like that.

Leave it to the audio only guys to ask the ignorant questions about wearing green on a green screen. Thanks for joining us John.

Of course, take care Jason.

Meteorologist John Jurgens provides weather updates during the weekend evening newscast for Rockford television station 13 WREX.