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  • Tim McGill

Beautiful Stretch Of Summer Weather Coming

Cooler Today Then Weekend Warm Up

It's going to get better. I promise. It was another muggy and murky day on Thursday. O'Hare had a high of 79°. Cloud cover and a wind that turned in off the lake kept us below average. It was the 10th day out of 15 so far this month to fall short of average. So far July is running nearly 3° below average. A warm up begins this weekend and next week promises to be warmer than this week. More sunshine Saturday and Sunday will help warm us up and once the 80s arrive they stick around.

We have to struggle through another cooler than average day on this Friday first before a beautiful stretch of weather begins tomorrow. The GFS model has highs today in the lower to middle 70s. The average high for today is 85°.

Our highs stay stuck in the 70s through Saturday before climbing back into the 80s Sunday. A persistent wind off the lake the next couple of days will help keep us cooler than average.

There is a chance for some scattered showers and an isolated thunderstorm today but there will be many dry hours. Areas south of the city have the best chance for rain. A small chance for a spotty shower or isolated thunderstorm Saturday but most of tomorrow should be rain free. I expect partly to mostly sunny skies Saturday and Sunday and plenty of sunshine next week.

The National Blend Of Models has our highs surging back into the 80s Sunday and staying in the middle to upper 80s from Monday through all of next week. The timing still looks perfect for this weekend as we dry out and warm up a bit.

NBM Forecast Of Daily Highs & Lows For O'Hare

The forecast signal for a warmer than average end of July is getting a bit stronger. The 6-10 day forecast has outlooked us for above average temperatures overall from July 21st through July 25th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast also favors us for above average temperatures overall from July 23rd through July 29th. Average highs are in the middle 80s for the middle of July.

The even longer range Subseasonal Experiment (SubX) temperature anomaly forecasts keeps us sandwiched between an expected warmer than average plains and western half of the country and a cooler middle and eastern part of the US. A close examination of these forecasts shows we are expected to be right around average overall for the end of July as start to August. The temperature anomaly forecast for the week ending July 30th has us outlooked for temperatures near normal. The forecast for the following week ending on August 6th also has Chicago outlooked for about average temperatures too.

Drought News Is Mixed

A juicy June helped put a dent in our drought but July has started out drier than average. June ended up with 2.58" of rain above average but so far July is running -.34" below average. O'Hare is now nearly five inches of rain below average since the start of meteorological spring on March 1st.

The US Drought Monitor released its latest analysis this week and the news was mixed for Illinois.

The area of Illinois in a moderate drought (level 1 out of 4) has dropped slightly from 7.40% last week to 7.32% this week. The area of the state in a severe drought (level 2 out of 4) has increased slightly from 2.22% a week ago to 2.40% this week. The area experiencing an exceptional drought (level 3 out of 4) remains unchanged at .96". All in all, very little change in our drought status from last week.

Rainfall over the past week has largely circumvented our drought stricken areas. Some of the most parched portions of our state saw the least amount of rain. Parts of Cook, Lake and McHenry counties saw just 24% to 50% of average rainfall during the seven day period ending on July 15th.

The latest GFS model shows the possibility of a scattered shower or thunderstorm today and then just an isolated shower or thunderstorm this weekend. Most of the weekend will be rain free. Next week there are a couple of chances for additional rain but most of the week should be dry.

The GFS model total rainfall forecast through this evening keeps our drier areas dry and favors southern suburbs for soggy weather. It suggests some spots well south of the city could pick up about a third of an inch of rain.

The longer range precipitation probability forecasts are again discouraging in light of our drought status. The latest 6-10 day forecast has the Chicago area favored for below average precipitation overall from July 21st through July 25th with the highest probabilities just to our west. The longer range 8-14 day forecast also has us favored for below average precipitation overall from July 23rd through July 29th.

The Midwest region also had little change overall from last week's drought outlook. Some levels of drought saw some improvement while others did not. The moderate drought area dropped slightly while the severe drought area increased slightly. The area in an exception drought more than quadrupled surging to .87% compared to .20" last week.

The drought news out west was all bad. The drought expanded in area and deepened in intensity this past week. Every drought level saw increases in area coverage. Almost 95% of the region is in a moderate drought with almost a third of the region in an exceptional drought.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Cloudy early, sct. showers/t-storms mainly south, peeks of sun pm High: 74

Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny, spotty shower possible Low: 67 High: 78 (cooler lakeside)

Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 67 High: 84 (cooler lakeside)

Monday: Mostly sunny Low: 68 High: 86 (cooler lakeside)

Tuesday: Mostly sunny Low: 69 High: 87 (cooler lakeside)

Wednesday: Mostly sunny Low: 71 High: 85 (cooler lakeside)

Thursday: Mostly sunny Low: 68 High: 88


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