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  • Tim McGill

April Sprinkles Today But April Snow Possible Later

From Sunshine To Sprinkles

We enjoyed a sunny start to the day but some cold air aloft means building clouds this afternoon and some spotty sprinkles.

Tuesday's high of 54° was the coolest in just under two weeks. Today should be even cooler. Highs will range from middle to upper 40s north of the city to the lower to middle 50s well south of Chicago.

If clouds clear up quickly enough tonight we could be flirting with some light frost northwest of the city. The GFS model has temperatures early Thursday morning dipping down into the lower to middle 30s in our northern and western suburbs.

To add a little insult to injury today we will have a brisk northwesterly breeze. The winds diminish a bit overnight and then pick back up again tomorrow.

What Do April Snow Showers Bring?

Other than today's spotty sprinkles the GFS model keeps us mainly dry through Monday. Things get interesting Tuesday into early Wednesday. Showers are in the forecast for Tuesday and the tail end of this upcoming system could feature some snow for late Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning. It is still a long way off and very subject to change but there could be some minor accumulation. Don't forget we average 1.2" of snow for the month. The last significant April snow here was just two years ago when 2.5" of snow fell at O'Hare on the 27th of the month. It was the latest accumulating snow we had seen here in more than 25 years.

The GFS model is squeezing out between three quarters of an inch to an inch for most areas but upwards of more than two inches well west of the city

The European model isn't as generous with the snow. It squeezes out about a third of an inch to just under an inch.

A Single Day In The 60s

The hourly temperature meteogram compares many different forecast models. It suggests just one day in the 60s is possible out of the next seven days. Today will be the coolest day of the week with some of us failing to get out of the 40s. Monday will be the mildest day of the next several with highs near 60°. So far April is running 9.3° above average.

Consistent Cool Long Range Signal

The longer range temperature probability forecasts have been signaling a cooler than average pattern for several days now. The latest 6-10 day forecast has us outlooked for below average temperatures overall from April 19th through April 23rd with a darker shade of blue this time which means a higher probability. The 8-14 day temperature probability forecast has us favored for below average temperatures overall from April 21st through April 27th too. Average highs in Chicago move from the upper 50s to lower 60s during this period.

The even longer range Subseasonal Experiment (SubX) temperature anomaly forecast is signaling a cooler than average end to April and a return to around average for the start of May. The temperature anomaly forecast for the week ending April 30th has us outlooked to be a bit below average overall. The forecast for the following week ending on May 7th has Chicago bouncing back to about average overall. Average highs by the start of May are in the lower 60s.

Trending Towards Near Normal Precipitation

The past few long range precipitation probability forecasts have both been signaling a drier pattern the past few days. We break that trend today. The latest 6-10 day forecast still has Chicago favored for below average precipitation from April 19th through April 23rd. The longer range 8-14 day forecast has us outlooked for about average precipitation overall from April 21st through April 27th. Future forecasts will reveal if this is hinting at a more active period possibly coming.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Sunny start then becoming mostly cloudy, spotty sprinkles, breezy High: 51

Thursday: Partly to mostly cloudy Low: 37 High: 53

Friday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 39 High: 56 (cooler lakeside)

Saturday: Partly to mostly cloudy, spotty sprinkles? Low: 39 High: 57 (cooler lakeside)

Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 39 High: 58 (cooler lakeside)

Monday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 41 High: 61 (cooler lakeside)

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy, rain develops Low: 37 High: 50



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