Clouds roll over the open fields

Clouds roll across the open fields above Fulton, Ill. Forecasters are predicting this weather to continue until today, when the weather will turn drier, sunnier, and warmer.

CLINTON — Grey low-hanging clouds have painted the skies since last week. It started a week ago today when thunder and pouring rain awakened many people across the Gateway area.

The stormy weather continued into Friday morning, with heavy rainfall prompting the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood watch across much of Eastern Iowa and Northwestern Illinois where upward of 2 to 3 inches of rain fell.

Forecasters said a low-pressure system then got cut off from the jet stream and hung around North Central Illinois over the weekend. This has caused cool, wet, and dreary weather over the last several days.

Mike McClure, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service Office in the Quad-Cities, said the Gateway area saw a lot of rainfall, which is causing some locations to have above-normal rainfall amounts for May.

“So far for the month to date, we were at 4.47 inches,” McClure said. “Now we don’t have a climate site for Clinton, so this is Davenport. The normal to about May 17 would be 2.21 inches, so that is about 2.25 inches over the normal.”

At the same time, McClure said that varies from place to place. Cedar Rapids is actually slightly below normal in rainfall for May, he said. But he said a lot of the heavier rainfall did happen just to the east of Clinton into parts of northern Illinois.

McClure said there is good news on the way. He mentioned the “cut-off” low-pressure system will continue to move south and east out of the Midwest and sunny and drier conditions will prevail starting today.

“The low-pressure system will get just enough of a push to cause our rain chances to go down,” McClure said. “We might even see a little bit more of some sun. If so, that will allow the temperatures to climb a little bit over the next few days, where we can see more 60s.”

McClure said that over the last several days, the area has experienced below-normal temperatures for this time of year. The average high for this time of year is generally in the lower 70s.

With the holiday weekend coming up, and more people anxious to go outside, the forecast is calling for a warming trend. McClure said temperatures could be some 20 to 25 degrees warmer by Saturday.

“It’s looking like kind of a taste of summer perhaps,” McClure said. “In terms of like increasing warmth and even humidity by the holiday weekend. We could be looking at highs in the 80s and dewpoints well into the 60s, if not 70s.”

McClure said that with the increasing warmth and humidity, the area could be looking at chances of showers and thunderstorms. He said his team of meteorologists will watch that upcoming storm system closely.