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  • Tim McGill

First Thunder & 60s Of Spring In Forecast

Want To Be A Storm Spotter?

Our first thunderstorms of spring are in the forecast for next week. This is Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Illinois. It's a great time to review your weather safety plans and talk to your family about what to do in the event of severe weather.

There is still time to register for a Storm Spotter Training Webinar with the National Weather Service.

Topics covered include the following:

  • identifying important storm features

  • general storm structure and movement

  • planning for and anticipating severe thunderstorms

The webinar is free and will last about two hours. Click here to learn more and register.

Above Average Streak Starts Today

We dropped back below average yesterday with a high of just 37° at O'Hare. We will bounce back above average today and stay above average through at least next Thursday.

Look for highs today to reach into the middle 40s. The average high for today is 42°. It will feel more like the 30s though with a northwest breeze blowing at about ten to fifteen miles per hour.

Beginning today we should have at least seven straight days with temperatures above average. Highs could hit 60° or more Monday through Wednesday next week.

Most of the Midwest by the middle of next week could be 25° to 30° above average. The temperature anomaly forecast has us nearly 30° above average by next Wednesday morning. The bullseye of this anomalous warming will be centered near Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.

First Rumbles Of Spring Thunder

The latest GFS model's meteogram has our quiet pattern continuing through Tuesday. Showers and thunderstorms may develop by late Wednesday and could continue on and off into Friday. There is the potential for some heavy rain by the end of next week.

From Mild To About Average

The longer range temperature probability forecasts have us moving from a milder than average pattern back to about average. The latest 6-10 day temperature probability forecast has us outlooked for above average temperature overall from March 10th through March 14th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast favors us for a return to about average temperatures overall from March 12th through March 18th.

The even longer range Subseasonal Experiment (SubX) forecast has a mild pattern for March continuing right through nearly the end of the month. The forecast for the week ending March 19th keeps us milder than average overall. Chicago and northern Illinois is favored for more above average temperatures overall for the following week ending on March 26th.

Active Pattern For Middle Of March

The past several precipitation probability forecasts have pointed towards a more active pattern. The last forecasts continue this trend. The 6-10 day forecast favors us for above average precipitation overall from March 10th through March 14th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast has us outlooked for above average precipitation overall from March 12th through March 18th. In both cases we are in the highest probabilities to see above average precipitation. The risk for spring flooding is above average for many area rivers. More on that below.

Springing Forward

The Climate Prediction Center's seasonal forecast for spring suggests a mild and moist pattern overall here. The temperature probability forecast for the months of March, April and May have us outlooked for above average temperatures overall. The precipitation probability forecast for the same period has us outlooked for above average precipitation overall.

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."

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: Mostly sunny, a bit breezy High: 45 (cooler near the lake)

Saturday: Sunny skies Low: 27 High: 44 (cooler near the lake)

Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 27 High: 54 (cooler near the lake)

Monday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 39 High: 61

Tuesday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 46 High: 62

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy, sct. showers & t-storms Low: 50 High: 61

Thursday: Showers & thunderstorms Low: 46 High: 55



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