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  • Tim McGill

90° Days Adding Up

Another Day With Highs In The 90s

Summer Sailing On Lake Michigan (BarryButlerPhotography.com)

O'Hare hit 91° on Monday. That was the tenth time this year we had a high of 90° or warmer. Today should be the eleventh 90° day. We are nearly doubling the average number of 90° days so far this year. We typically see around six of them by then end of the first week of July. In an average year we end up with a total of seventeen 90° days. The HRRR model has our highs today topping out in the lower to middle 90s. Average highs for today's date are 85°. The moderately high humidity will make it feel like the middle to even upper 90s.

Slap on some sunscreen today. We will see a mix of sun and clouds with the sunshine winning out most of the day. Our UV Index will be very high at 8.

Dew points stay moderately high through Wednesday before falling to more comfortable levels on Thursday. Dew points are the preferred measurement of moisture for meteorologists. Dew points will stay in the middle to upper 60s through Wednesday keeping us fairly muggy during this period.

Winds will be a bit breezy out of the southwest today before shifting off the lake around midday tomorrow. This wind shift will set us up for a cooler and more comfortable Thursday.

There is only a slight chance for an isolated shower or thunderstorm today and early tonight. The rain chances ramp up for Wednesday afternoon and evening.

The National Blend Of Models has highs falling from the 90s today to more seasonably warm levels on Wednesday with highs in the middle 80s. That's followed by four straight days with highs only in the 70s before warming back into the 80s early next week.

The longer range temperature probability forecasts suggest the seasonably warm pattern we settle into next week might stick around through and just past the middle of this month. It has us near normal which would mean our highs would average out in the middle 80s. The 6-10 day forecast has outlooked us for about average temperatures overall from July 11th through July 15th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast also favors us for about average temperatures overall from July 13th through July 19th.

The even longer range Subseasonal Experiment (SubX) temperature anomaly forecasts doesn't have a very strong signal for the last two weeks of July. The average highs for this period are in the middle 80s. The temperature anomaly forecast for the week ending July 23rd has us outlooked for temperatures slightly above average. It takes a keen eye to see the pixel representing the Chicago area is shaded in light yellow. A stronger signal for a warmer end of the month is found just north of here and out in the western US. The forecast for the following week ending on July 30th also has Chicago outlooked for about average temperatures. We remain between the stronger warm signal north and west of here and a strong cool signal south of Chicago.

Looking Long Term For More Drought Relief

Monday was the 5th straight dry day at O'Hare. We are now a little over half an inch of rain below average for July and down nearly four inches below average since the start of meteorological spring back on March 1st.

Here is a recap of our drought status that I posted last Friday:

June really helped turned the tide in terms of rainfall. The period of March through May saw the rainfall deficit grow at O'Hare to nearly 7 inches below average. June ended up seeing 6.78" of rain. The month ended up with 2.68" of rain above average. According the the latest analysis from the US Drought Monitor, our recent rains helped put a slight dent in the drought.

Comparing this week's analysis to last week's shows some improvement. The portions of Illinois in a moderate and severe drought have diminished. The moderate drought (level 1 of 4) area has dropped from 9.18% to 7.55%. The severe drought area (level 2 of 4) has dropped from 3.12% to 2.22%. The extreme drought area (level 3 of 4) is unchanged at .96%.

There will be plenty of opportunities for drought relief over the coming ten days. The GFS model has the best chances for rainfall on Wednesday and Saturday.

The GFS model total rainfall forecast through this Friday afternoon shows a wide range of rainfall from around a quarter of an inch to nearly three quarters of an inch. This reflects the nature of scattered summertime showers and thunderstorms.

I ran the model out through the weekend into Tuesday morning. This shows more copious amounts of rainfall possible. The range of rainfall in this forecast is from just over two inches to nearly six inches in total.

July has started off dry but that might be about to change. The signal fairly strong for a more active period for the middle of the month. The latest 6-10 day forecast has the Chicago area favored for above average precipitation overall from July 11th through July 15th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast also has us favored for above average precipitation overall from July 13th through July 19th. Little hope for drought relief out west as they are outlooked to stay drier than average.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Partly to mostly sunny, hot & humid High: 93

Wednesday: Partly/mostly cloudy, sct. shwrs/t-strms Low: 71 High: 84 (cooler lakeside)

Thursday: Spotty AM shower possible, partly to mostly cloudy Low: 63 High: 73

Friday: Partly to mostly cloudy Low: 59 High: 79 (cooler lakeside)

Saturday: Mostly cloudy, showers likely Low: 63 High: 76 (cooler lakeside)

Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny, sct. showers Low: 64 High: 78 (cooler lakeside)

Monday: Partly to mostly cloudy, sct. showers/t-storms Low: 68 High: 84



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