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  • Tim McGill

Beach Weather In Early June

How To Stay Safe While Splashing Around

It's beach hazards and safety awareness week. The National Weather Service wants to remind us that they produce a beach hazards forecast you can check before heading to Lake Michigan's shores.

Low swim risk today all along the shores of lake Michigan. The biggest issues facing beach goers is cool conditions in terms of both water temperatures and air temperatures with a breeze off the lake.

The most common threat swimmers could face are rip currents. The United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) says the annual number of deaths due to rip currents on our nation’s beaches exceeds 100. The National Weather Service's "Beach Hazards & Water Safety Awareness" page has helpful advice for how to avoid this hazard and what to do if you find yourself caught up in a rip current.

The water temperature along Chicago's shores are kind of cool but have warmed some recently. Most beaches are reporting temperatures in the upper 50s to lower to middle 60s.

Wave heights will be low the next few days. Generally speaking, wave heights should hover around a foot or less.

Hot & Humid Through Saturday

June is now running just over 8° above average. Highs will be near 90° or above right through the weekend. Sunday will feel a lot more comfortable than Saturday though because of a drop in dew points.

Average highs for today's date are around 79°. The HRRR model pushes highs today near 90° again away from the lakefront but keeps it cooler (70s) lakeside.

Friday should be just as hot. The GFS model suggests a few spots away from the lakefront should tag 90° but a breeze off the lake keeps it cooler at the beaches. Highs will be in the upper 70s right along the lakefront.

The National Blend Of Models keeps the heat coming right through Monday with highs near 90°. Highs fall back to about average on Tuesday.

As I discussed in yesterday's post, it's not the heat, it's the humidity. Dew points (a measure of moisture in the air) will drop dramatically starting Sunday and continuing through Wednesday. It will stay steamy through Saturday but become more comfortable starting on Sunday.

A cold front coming through late Saturday will bring us some relief from the high humidity. Dew points drop into the 40s early next week. They will fall into the 50s on Sunday making the heat more tolerable. The dropping dew points will combine with the coolest temperatures in the forecast on Tuesday and Wednesday for the most comfortable couple of days next week.

Our Drought Situation May Become More Dire

Our rainfall deficit continues to grow. O'Hare has picked up just over a half inch of rain in the past two weeks. We are down nearly 4 inches below average for rainfall since May 1st and just over 8 inches since March 1st. I'll have the latest analysis from the U.S. Drought Monitor on Friday.

There is a slight chance for an isolated shower or thunderstorm today and tomorrow but most of us will stay dry.

The GFS model has the next decent chance of rain coming late Saturday afternoon. This would come in the form of scattered showers and thunderstorms though and won't bring the kind of widespread, significant rain we really need for drought relief. The next round of rain possible after Saturday comes on Tuesday.

The latest GFS model total rainfall forecast through this weekend only spits out about a tenth to a quarter of an inch of rain at most.

The total precipitation forecast run out through Tuesday is a little more promising. It generally shows around a third of an inch to three quarters of an inch of rain in total.

The long range precipitation probability forecasts aren't offering much hope for relief from our drought situation. They suggest a drier than average period from next Tuesday through the following eight days. The latest 6-10 day forecast has us outlooked for below average precipitation overall from June 15th through June 19th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast continues to favor us for below average precipitation overall from June 17th through June 23rd. This would likely deepen our drought in terms of intensity and expand it in terms of area.

Strongest Warm Signal To Our West

The longer range temperature probability forecasts continue to keep the west outlooked for above average temperatures with the highest probabilities in the Rockies through the southwest. The Chicago area is outlooked to trend towards above average temperatures. The 6-10 day forecast has outlooked us for about average temperatures overall from June 15th through June 19th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast favors us for above average temperatures overall from June 17th through June 23rd. Average highs for these two periods are in the lower 80s.

The even longer range Subseasonal Experiment (SubX) temperature anomaly forecast keeps us favored to be warmer than average for the end of June and start of July. The average highs for this period are in the lower 80s. The temperature anomaly forecast for the week ending June 25th has us outlooked for above average temperatures overall but on the lower end of the spectrum. The forecast for the following week ending on July 2nd also has Chicago outlooked for above average temperatures overall with a stronger signal.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Mostly sunny High: 89 (76 lakeside)

Friday: Mostly sunny Low: 68 High: 90 (78 lakeside)

Saturday: Partly/mostly sunny, sct. showers/t-storms late Low: 70 High: 89 (cooler lakeside)

Sunday: Mostly sunny, less humid Low: 69 High: 88 (cooler lakeside)

Monday: Mostly sunny Low: 66 High: 87 (cooler lakeside)

Tuesday: Mostly sunny Low: 61 High: 80 (cooler lakeside)

Wednesday: Mostly sunny Low: 57 High: 82 (cooler lakeside)



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