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  • Tim McGill

Cooler Before Weekend Warm Up

Tuesday Was Warmest Day Since September

It felt just like July on Tuesday as highs soared to nearly 25° above average. O'Hare's high of 87° tied a record going back to 1986. It was the warmest day in nearly eight months and the third time this April we have seen a high of 80° or warmer.

A study by Climate Central shows we have seen an increase in days with highs above 80° over the past nearly 50 years. We are now averaging about 7 more days with a high warmer than 80° compared to 1970.

We can say so long to the 80s for now. A cooler pattern kicks in today. Winds will be shifting in off the lake bringing cooler air well inland. Look for a big range of high temperatures today from near 60° along the lakefront to middle 70s well southwest of the city. We will all see temperatures fall late today as that northeast wind strengthens. There is some rain in the forecast for today but it will not be a washout. Some showers & scattered thunderstorms are possible early and late today but many dry hours during the middle of the day. There could be a stray storm late today that produces large hail or gusty winds. The best chance for that is south of I-80.

Friday will be the coolest day of the week with highs falling into the 50s for some of us. Highs may hit 60° or more well away from the lake but much of the day will be spent in the 50s.

Hang in there because we will warm right back up for the weekend. The temperature anomaly forecast for Saturday afternoon has temperatures here around 15° above average. That would mean highs well into the 70s.

Bring On The Rain

We are still running well below average in terms of rainfall. O'Hare is now 2.39" below average for the month and 3.64" below average since March 1st. Rain at times today and tomorrow should help put a dent in the drought that expanded a bit last week. The GFS model suggests a few rounds of rain between today and early next week. We have a chance for some scattered showers and thunderstorms early and late today and then more showers possible on Thursday. The next chance of rain beyond that is later Monday next week.

The GFS model precipitation accumulation forecast through Thursday shows a range of rainfall with a few tenths of an inch expected for most of us but nearly an inch well possible south of the city.

Cool Couple Of Days Then Warmer Weekend

The hourly temperature meteogram compares many different forecast models. Average highs for late April are in the middle 60s. We will be cooler today than yesterday but still around or above average for most areas. Our highs fall into the upper 50s to near 60° by Friday before we bounce back with a warmer weekend.

Mild Early May Signal

The signal in the long range temperature probability forecasts for a relatively mild start to May has been consistent. The Midwest and most of the country is favored to be above average for nearly the first two weeks of May. The latest 6-10 day forecast has us outlooked for above average temperatures overall from May 3rd through May 7th. The 8-14 day temperature probability forecast has us favored for staying above average overall from May 5th through May 11th. Average highs for start of May are in the middle to upper 60s.

The even longer range Subseasonal Experiment (SubX) temperature anomaly forecast is signaling a cooler than average pattern though settling in for the middle two weeks of May. The temperature anomaly forecast for the week ending May 14th has us outlooked to be below average overall. The forecast for the following week ending on May 21st has Chicago below average overall too. Average highs for this period are in the upper 60s to lower 70s.

Above Average Precipitation Pattern

The long range precipitation probability forecasts favors us slightly for above average precipitation for the start of May. The latest 6-10 day forecast starts out with Chicago favored for about average precipitation from May 3rd through May 7th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast has us favored for above average precipitation overall from May 5th through May 11th too. In both case the probabilities are on the lower end.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Sct. shwrs/t-storms early & late, mostly cloudy, cooler High: 68 (60 Lakefont)

Thursday: Mostly cloudy, showers mainly early Low: 48 High: 62 (cooler lakeside)

Friday: Mostly sunny Low: 44 High: 61 (cooler lakeside)

Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 45 High: 75 (cooler lakeside)

Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 58 High: 78

Monday: Mostly cloudy, scattered showers Low: 59 High: 71 (cooler lakeside)

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy, scattered showers Low: 52 High: 64 (cooler lakeside)



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