Cool But Quiet Start To A Month That Can Be Chaotic
Fall is a time of transition in Chicago. While our focus can shift towards what is coming this winter we can't let our guard down in October. There have been a number of notorious storms that have either been very wet, very windy or sometimes both. There has even been a few that give us an early taste of winter.
Halloween Snow Scare
The most recent noteworthy storm to hit during the month occurred on Halloween last year. The snow actually began the day before (October 30th) with 1.2" at O'Hare. Halloween day an additional 3.4" fell. The 4.6" in total over those two days made for the second snowiest October on record for Chicago. To make matters worse a combination of strong onshore winds and unusually high lake levels lead to lakeshore from Chicago into northwest Indiana.
Flooding Just Days Before
Some wet weather just prior to that snowfall also made the record books last year. Four days before the snow mentioned above there was flooding in the Chicago area with two to four inches of rain. The rain was from the remnants of Tropical Storm Olga that originally made landfall in Louisiana. 2.18" fell on the 26th at O'Hare to set a record for the date. The two day total from the storm was 2.22". Strong winds whipped up waves just over ten feet along the shoreline in Wilmette.
Windy October Weather
October has also featured some significant wind storms. On October 2nd, 2006 strong winds hit Hickory Hills and other parts of southern Cook County along with Peotone and portions of Will County. The National Weather Service survey of the damage suggested winds reached up to 110 mph. A part of Conrady Junior High Schools gymnasium roof was torn off and blown into a parking lot. That debris overturned a service van. You can see a hole in the van that lies under the roof. Emergency workers had to cut out the hole in order to get to the people that were stuck inside.
Cool Couple Of Days Then Warm Up
Four of the past five days have been cooler than average with yesterday's high of 55° the coolest of the season so far and coolest in nearly 5 months. Today's highs will also be below the average high of 68° for early October. Highs should reach into the upper 50 to near 60°.
50s expected for highs again on Sunday but then we warm up next week. Highs should be in the 60s or warmer. By Tuesday we should be near 70°.
This mild pattern could continue through at least the middle of this month. Both the 6-10 and 8-14 day temperature probability forecasts have us outlooked for above average temperatures overall from October 8th through the 16th.
Drought Diminished Further
Five of the past six days have seen a trace of rain or more. The portion of Illinois in a moderate drought has dropped compared to last week by nearly 2% and is now down to 3.69%. The portion of the state that is abnormally dry went up slightly to 57.72%.
Rainfall chances are fairly few and far between the next ten days. The best chance of rain will be overnight tonight and early tomorrow. Most of next week should be dry with the GFS model hinting at a slight chance for rain Friday.
Tonight and tomorrow's rain looks to be light. The GFS precipitation accumulation forecast is only spitting out about a tenth to two tenths of an inch total during that time.
The longer range precipitation probability forecasts keeps the pattern mostly dry through the middle of the month. Both the 6-10 and 8-14 have us outlooked for below average precipitation overall from October 8th through the 16th.
Here is my 7 day forecast:
Today: Mostly cloudy, spotty showers late High: 58
Sunday: Light showers mainly early, partly/mostly cloudy, breezy Low: 43 High: 56
Monday: Sunny skies Low: 40 High: 62
Tuesday: Mostly sunny Low: 50 High: 70
Wednesday: Mostly sunny Low: 51 High: 71
Thursday: Mostly sunny Low: 48 High: 63
Friday: Mostly sunny Low: 48 High: 72