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  • Tim McGill

Feeling Just Like June

Warm & Windy

Today should not only be the warmest day of the year so far but it will also be the warmest day in nearly six months. Our high today should hit 80° or just above. The last time we had a high in the 80s was way back on October 9th of last year when we topped out at 82°. Today will be the fourth straight day with highs in at least the 70s. The last time we accomplished that was early November of last year.

Some sun mixed with clouds along with gusty southwest winds should push our highs into the lower 80s. It will feel just like June today. Average highs for the middle and end of June are in the lower 80s. The record high at O'Hare for today is 84° set back in 1929. We will come within a few degrees of that record today.

To hit highs in the 80s in early April we will have to have a fairly strong southerly wind. It will be windy at times today and tomorrow. Winds will be fairly steady out of the south and southwest around ten to twenty miles per hour. There will be occasional gusts to near 30 mph this afternoon and again tomorrow afternoon.

Warm Through Wednesday

The hourly temperature meteogram compares many different forecast models. Wednesday should be the fifth straight day with highs at least in the 70s. Cooler air is coming for the end of the week and into the weekend. Despite cooling off, we will remain above the average high of 55° all the way through early next week.

The GFS model's temperature anomaly forecast has temperatures between 20° to 25° above average for northern Illinois again on Wednesday. The central plains is one of the only parts of the country forecast to be cooler than average. That blob of blue to our west represents an upper level low pressure system that will eventually bring us rain late tomorrow and cooler temperatures for Thursday through the weekend.

Rain Chances Ramp Up Tomorrow

The GFS model precipitation meteogram has the best chance of rain here late Wednesday and into Thursday. There is another period of showers likely coming on Friday. It's hard to imagine with 80s expected today that there is even a chance of some wet snow next Tuesday. That risk of wintry weather is still several days away and the forecast could change so stay tuned.

We have only picked up a trace of rain over the past ten days and just 1.25" of rain has fallen since March 1st. The GFS model suggests we could get some much needed rain between Wednesday and Saturday. It is squeezing out around a half inch to nearly an inch of rain in total during that period.

Weak Long Range Temperature Signal

Next week is slightly favored to be above average in terms of temperature overall. The probabilities are in the low range though. The latest 6-10 day temperature probability forecast has us outlooked for above average temperatures overall from April 11th through April 15th. A return to near normal conditions is in the longer range outlook. The 8-14 day temperature probability forecast has us favored for about average temperatures overall from April 13th through April 19th.

The even longer range Subseasonal Experiment (SubX) forecast is signaling a warmer than average end to April. The temperature anomaly forecast for the week ending April 23rd has us outlooked to be above average for the period. The forecast for the following week ending on April 23rd has us outlooked to stay above average overall. Average highs for the end of April are in the middle 60s.

Drying Out By Middle Of The Month?

The longer range precipitation probability forecasts suggest a drier pattern may develop after this week. The latest 6-10 day forecast has Chicago favored for about average precipitation from April 11th through April 15th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast has us outlooked for below average precipitation overall from April 13th through April 19th too. The risk for spring flooding is above average for many area rivers. More on that below.

Spring Flood Risk Forecast

The National Weather Service considers many risk factors for spring flooding. They include snow cover, soil moisture, and current river conditions.

"A significant snow cover with high water content can increase the chances of flooding once warmer weather melts the snow. Elevated soil moisture conditions reduce the amount of rainfall that is soaked up by the ground and increase the amount of water that then runs off into area streams. Above average river levels reduce the river rise required to reach flood stage, while below average river levels would require an increased amount of river rise to reach flood stage."

The map shows the locations where there is a greater than 50% chance of moderate or minor flooding during March through May 2021.

Their latest forecast suggests the flood risk is above average for many of our area rivers. The Des Plaines and Fox rivers in particular need to be watched closely.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Partly to mostly cloudy, breezy & warmer High: 81

Wednesday: Partly sunny, spotty shower/t-storm late, breezy Low: 57 High: 79 (72 lakeside)

Thursday: Mostly cloudy, cooler, on & off showers Low: 55 High: 64

Friday: Mostly cloudy, spotty showers mainly pm Low: 49 High: 63 (cooler lakeside)

Saturday: Partly to mostly cloudy, a few showers Low: 47 High: 62

Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 45 High: 65 (cooler lakeside)

Monday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 44 High: 63 (cooler lakeside)



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