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  • Tim McGill

60s This Weekend But First Flakes Of Snow May Fly Soon

Prepare Now For Winter Weather

It might be hard to think about winter during a weekend that will highs near 60° today and into the 60s Sunday but now may be the perfect time to plan ahead.

The National Weather Service is hosting two sessions on Winter Weather Preparedness and Spotter training. Topics covered through these webinars include winter weather science and safety. They will also explore the National Weather Service's various winter weather products. Spotters will be trained on the proper way to measure and report snowfall. Last but not least, you will get a breakdown of the upcoming winter forecast.

You can register at the following links:

Wednesday November 10th: 6:30-8:00 PM CST | Registration Link: Registration (gotowebinar.com)

Thursday November 18th: 6:30-8:00 PM CST | Registration Link: Registration (gotowebinar.com)

After four straight days with highs only in the 40s, Friday's high at O'Hare made it to 52°. We are potentially looking at six straight days with highs above average. At least half of those days should have a high of 60° or warmer.

The HRRR model has highs today climbing to about 5° above average. We should top out in the upper 50s today.

The GFS Model warms us into the 60s on Sunday. That means highs around 10° or more above average. The model suggests lower 60s but my forecast has us surging into the middle 60s tomorrow.

Monday's highs could be the warmest we see for the next several days. The GFS Model has our highs climbing into middle to upper 60s. It isn't out of the question a few spots could hit 70°.

Tuesday may cool down a few degrees but still stay well above average. The GFS model temperature anomaly forecast for Tuesday afternoon shows temperatures here between 10° to 15° above average. That would mean highs Tuesday at least into the lower 60s.

We usually need two things this time of the year to be as warm as what we are expecting. We need fairly strong southerly or southwesterly winds and some sunshine. We will have both of those things through the weekend.

Watch for wind gusts today and tomorrow to exceed 20 mph. I expect mostly sunny skies today and partly to mostly sunny skies tomorrow.

Today will be the 7th straight dry day and tomorrow will make it 8 in a row without any rain or snow.

The Rise Before The Fall

The National Blend Of Models has our highs near 60° today then 60° or warmer Sunday through at least Tuesday. We fall into the 40s for highs by Friday and stay colder than average through the following Monday.

The longer range temperature outlooks take us from a near normal pattern to a colder than normal pattern overall. The 6-10 day outlook still has us favored for about average temperatures overall from November 11th through November 15th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast favors us for colder than average temperatures overall from November 13th through November 19th. Average highs for this period are in the upper 40s to near 50°.

The even longer term 30 day temperature anomaly forecast has us a bit above average overall from now through the first few days of December. Northern Illinois is again outlooked to be between 1° to 3° below average. This forecast covers the period from November 3rd through December 3th. The Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS) is a weather forecast model made up of 21 separate forecasts, or ensemble members The model tries to give an idea of the amount of uncertainty in a forecast by running an ensemble of multiple forecasts which are each tweaked a bit with their initial conditions.

Rain First Then Some Snow?

November is now running nearly a half inch of rainfall below average after six straight days without any precipitation. The surplus of rain we had been running since the start of fall on September 1st has now evaporated. Since the start of September we are now down .07" below average.

The most recent US Drought Monitor analysis was released Thursday. Here is a recap:

After three reports in a row with good news for Illinois the latest report is a bit more ambivalent. There is no areal increase in any of the drought categories but there is no decrease either. Things have not changed at all compared to the previous report. 9.29% of the state is in a moderate drought (level 1 out of 4) and 1.22% is in a severe drought (level 2 out of 4). The drought continues to be focused in northern Illinois entirely.

The report was more of a mixed bag for the Midwest region. While the areas in a severe to extreme drought decreased slightly, the area in a moderate drought increased slightly.

This past week has been dry for most of the area. It has been especially dry well northwest of Chicago where just 0% to 25% of average rainfall for the period has fallen. Near the city itself and south is where rain has been a bit more plentiful with some spots getting between 110% to 150% of average rainfall.

The GFS model's total precipitation forecast through a week from Sunday spits out light amounts. The range is between a few hundredths of an inch to a little more than a tenth of an inch.

Time for my standard words of warning when it comes to predicting snow several days out. It is very early and the models still haven't reached a consensus so this is all subject to change. STAY TUNED!

The GFS model's total snowfall forecast through a week from tomorrow suggests as little as a trace of snow to nearly a half inch. This would fall fall Friday into Saturday. At least some of this would fall in the form of lake-effect snow. I posted last week about the unusually warm Great Lakes water temperatures setting us up for some potentially big lake-effect snow events. We are now down about a third of inch of snowfall below average for the season. Typically our first flakes of snow fall around lake October.

The European model is now suggesting more snow than the GFS model. It lays down about a third of an inch to just over an inch of snowfall.

The total accumulated snowfall forecast meteogram considers several different model forecasts. A few models are suggesting snow next Friday and Saturday but several are not. The ones that are spitting out some snow are forecasting about a quarter to three quarters of an inch.

Focusing on just the GFS model's meteogram for O'Hare shows our next decent chance of rain comes Thursday with even a few rumbles of thunder possible. More rain is forecast for next Friday that could change over to snow. More light rain and snow is hinted at a week from this Sunday.

The longer range precipitation forecasts have us moving from a more active period overall towards the end of next week and that following weekend to a more quite and dry pattern just beyond that. The latest 6-10 day forecast has the Chicago area favored for above average precipitation (which can take the form of rain or snow now) from November 11th through November 15th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast also has us outlooked for below average precipitation for the period from November 13th through November 19th.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Mostly sunny, breezy High: 57

Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny, breezy Low: 43 High: 64

Monday: Partly to mostly sunny, a bit breezy Low: 48 High: 66

Tuesday: Partly to mostly cloudy, chance of rain late Low: 49 High: 60

Wednesday: Partly to mostly cloudy Low: 45 High: 58

Thursday: Mostly cloudy, chance of rain, windy Low: 48 High: 57

Friday: Mostly cloudy, chance of light rain and snow, blustery Low: 39 High: 48