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  • Tim McGill

Drought Diminished But Dry Pattern To Return

Illinois' Drought Status

Seven of the first 10 days of September have seen rain at O'Hare. Prior to that just 15 of the 62 days in July and August saw rainfall of more than a trace. The deficit during those summer months was over 5". Our soggy start to September has helped to diminish the drought but it isn't completely gone. The US Drought Monitor's latest report for Illinois shows the moderate drought area has shrunk by just over a third. Last Thursday the portion of Illinois that was in a moderate drought was 25.76% but it now stands at 17.07%. A significant reduction but with a drier pattern possibly coming next week we could see the drought deepen again.

Dry Pattern Returning?

Some spotty showers are possible today but the best chance of rain over the next 10 days is late Saturday into early Sunday. We've had a soggy start to September but after this weekend's round of scattered showers and thunderstorms there could be a stretch of dry weather from Sunday through Friday next week. So after seven of the first ten days of the month seeing rain it looks like a return to a dry pattern. Sunday through Friday should feature some fantastic fall weather with plenty of sunshine and highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s.

The GFS model total precipitation accumulation forecast through Sunday suggests the heavier weekend rain will hit the western part of Illinois with up to two inches possible. It forecasts around three quarters of an inch of rain to nearly an inch here. So far for the month we have seen 2.45" of rain at O'Hare which is 1.32" above average. We normally average 3.2" for the month of September.

The longer range precipitation probability forecasts also show a slow shift towards a more dry pattern (or at least a return to near normal) could settle in during the middle and later part of the month. The 6-10 day forecast still has us outlooked for above average rainfall overall from September 16th through the 20th. The 8-14 day forecast has us outlooked for average or near average rainfall for September 18th through the 24th.

So Long 60s

Today should be the fourth day in a row with temperatures below average. The last time that happened was the middle of June. The last time we had four days in a row with highs in the 60s or cooler was the middle of May. Today's highs will range from the lower 60s north of the city to the middle 60s in and around Chicago to the upper 60s south of the city. Some of us might not get out of the upper 60s tomorrow but after Saturday we will warm back up into at least the 70s through all of next week. Wednesday could even see a few spots climb into the 80s.

The long rang temperature probability forecasts have us cooling off towards the end of the month. The 6-10 day forecast has us outlooked for near normal temperatures overall from September 16th through the 20th. The 8-14 day forecast has us outlooked for a return to below average temperatures overall from September 18th through the 24th. So a warmer than average week coming up then a trend towards a cooler pattern could be coming.

Here is my 7 day forecast: Beach hazards statement until 10 AM today Today: Cloudy, cool & a bit breezy, spotty showers High: 65 Saturday: Mostly cloudy, sct. showers & thunderstorms (mainly late) Low: 61 High: 69 Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 60 High: 75 Monday: Mostly sunny Low: 56 High: 73 Tuesday: Mostly sunny Low: 57 High: 77 Wednesday: Mostly sunny Low: 58 High: 80

Thursday: Mostly sunny Low: 59 High: 76



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