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  • Tim McGill

Cool Pattern Means Quiet Severe Weather Season

So Far So Good



We made it all the way through April with a single report of severe weather in northern Illinois. This quiet start to severe weather season is due in large part to a cooler than average pattern we have so often seen this spring. Today should be the tenth straight day with below average temperatures. The last time we put together a streak that long was in February.



Through May 11th there have been 403 tornado local storm reports for the country. That is 179 below the average number by this time of the year. The running tally for 2021 is shown in the bolder red line below. The average value is in the bolder black line. Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska collectively did not even see a dozen tornadoes during April.



We will be warming back up to and even above average slowly but surely but this quiet pattern should continue for at least the next seven days. The average high for this date climbs to 70° for the first time in May. We will probably fall just short of that with highs in the middle to upper 60s but cooler along the lakefront with highs there in lower 60s.


We will still be subjected to a wind off the lake the next several days but that breeze won't be pushing as far inland. So O'Hare should be at least 5° warmer today compared to Wednesday and might even tag 70° tomorrow.


Put those sensitive plants back outside. No more problems with patchy frost as our temperatures slowly but surely warm up. We should be around or even a bit above average for highs the next seven days.


The next time we should see widespread temperatures well into the 70s will be next Wednesday. Our highs then should be at least 5° above average.






Bring On The Rain


I'll have an update on the drought impacting parts of the area tomorrow. The GFS model is suggesting several chances at showers over the next several days but no real significant rain until a week from today. O'Hare is now 1.42" of rain below average and an impressive 5.66" below average since March 1st.



The GFS model spits out just a tenth of an inch of rain through Monday morning for our northern suburbs but as much as an inch well south of the city. We need this rain to nudge more north because that is where parts of the area are more parched.






Warmer Pattern Coming


We will be warming back to about average soon but a warmer pattern could be coming for the middle and end of May. Both longer range temperature probability forecasts favor us for above average temperatures overall. The latest 6-10 day forecast favors us for above average temperatures overall from May 18th through May 22nd with the highest probabilities just northwest of Chicago. The 8-14 day temperature probability forecast keeps us above average overall from May 20th through May 26th. Average highs for this period are in the lower to middle 70s.



The even longer range Subseasonal Experiment (SubX) temperature anomaly forecast has been consistently calling for a cooler pattern recently but the latest forecasts now favor the Chicago area for near normal temperatures for the end of May and start of June. The average highs for this period are in the middle 70s. The temperature anomaly forecast for the week ending May 28th has us outlooked to be about average overall. The forecast for the following week ending on June 4th has Chicago about average overall too.







Less Active Pattern Coming?

The longer range precipitation probability forecasts don't bode well considering the ongoing drought for parts of the area. These projects point to a less active pattern for rain. The latest 6-10 day forecast has Chicago favored for below average precipitation from May 18th through May 22nd. The longer range 8-14 day forecast also has us favored for about average precipitation overall from May 20th through May 26th.





Here is my 7 day forecast:


Today: Mostly sunny High: 67 (62 lakeside)


Friday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 48 High: 69 (53 lakeside)


Saturday: Partly to mostly cloudy, spotty shower possible Low: 49 High: 67 (cooler lakeside)


Sunday: Partly to mostly cloudy, spotty shower possible Low: 50 High: 70 (cooler lakeside)


Monday: Mostly cloudy, scattered showers Low: 55 High: 72 (cooler lakeside)


Tuesday: Partly/mostly sunny, spotty shower possible Low: 56 High: 73 (cooler lakeside)


Wednesday: Partly/mostly sunny, spotty shower possible Low: 44 High: 75 (cooler lakeside)


#ilwx

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