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  • Tim McGill

From 60s To Snow In Less Than A Week?

Nice Temperatures For November (For Now)

We get a bit of a break from the fall chill that settled in on the last day of October and continued through the first four days of November. We have had five straight days with below average temperatures. Within that streak we saw the coldest day in nearly seven months. So far November is running just under 8° below average.

If you like your falls relatively mild then this is your weekend to enjoy. If you like more frigid fall temperatures and some snow to go along with them then next weekend may be for you. We may go from 60s this weekend to snow the next. Our first flakes of snow have yet to come and are running about a week behind schedule. I posted earlier this week about when we typically see our first snow in Chicago. More on the snow threat coming a week from this Saturday below.

We bounce back to around or just above average today and continue to warm up through the weekend and into the start of next week. Average highs for today's date are around 54°. The GFS Model has our highs today topping out in the lower to middle 50s.

The GFS Model warms us up further on Saturday. Some sunshine and a southwest wind should push our highs into the middle to upper 50s.

Sunday should be the warmest day of the weekend. The GFS Model has our highs climbing into the lower to middle 60s or nearly 10° above average.

This warm up should probably peak on Monday. It should be the warmest day of the week and the warmest we will see for several days. The GFS temperature anomaly forecast for Monday afternoon shows temperatures here between 15° to 18° above average. That would mean highs Monday in the middle to upper 60s.

The thaw begins today with highs into the middle 50s and continues Saturday with highs well into the 50s.

Both days will feature some sunshine (more today than tomorrow) and south or southwest winds to help the warm up begin. It will be breezy today and tomorrow with the stronger gusts today approaching 30 mph.

We should stay bone dry through the weekend with essentially no chance of rain.

Another Fall Rollercoaster Temperature Ride

The National Blend Of Models has our highs warming to 60° or warmer from Sunday through Tuesday. The warmest day would come on Monday with a high of 64°. Temperatures fall into the middle to upper 50s for the middle of the week and then drop more dramatically for Friday and the weekend with highs only in the 40s.

The longer range temperature outlooks are shifting us to a relatively colder pattern by the middle of this month. The outlooks suggest that colder air is coming starting a week from today. The 6-10 day outlook still has us favored for above average temperatures overall from November 10th through November 14th but the longer range 8-14 day forecast favors us for colder than average temperatures overall from November 12th through November 18th. Average highs for this period are in the upper 40s to lower 50s.

The even longer term 30 day temperature anomaly forecasts had been keeping us near normal but the latest forecast bumps us up a bit above average. Northern Illinois is now outlooked to be between 1° to 3° below average. This forecast covers the period from November 3rd through December 3th. The Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS) is a weather forecast model made up of 21 separate forecasts, or ensemble members The model tries to give an idea of the amount of uncertainty in a forecast by running an ensemble of multiple forecasts which are each tweaked a bit with their initial conditions.

Drought Conditions Don't Change

Friday will be the sixth straight dry day. That streak should stretch to at least nine days before rain possibly returns next Tuesday. November is now running .36" below average for rainfall so far. Seven inches of rain has fallen since September 1st which is .02" above average. That surplus has been shrinking though during this dry streak.

The most recent US Drought Monitor analysis was released Thursday. After three reports in a row with good news for Illinois the latest report is a bit more ambivalent. There is no areal increase in any of the drought categories but there is no decrease either. Things have not changed at all compared to the previous report. 9.29% of the state is in a moderate drought (level 1 out of 4) and 1.22% is in a severe drought (level 2 out of 4). The drought continues to be focused in northern Illinois entirely.

The report was more of a mixed bag for the Midwest region. While the areas in a severe to extreme drought decreased slightly, the area in a moderate drought increased slightly.

The rainfall surplus that we saw through the first few weeks of October has been eaten away by the dry pattern most of us have seen in the past week or so. Our far northern and northwestern suburbs have seen the biggest impact. That area is now running a deficit for the seven day period ending on November 4th. The surplus of rain for the city, all of Cook County and areas south of there is still impressive but it has dropped over the past week.

The GFS model's total precipitation forecast through next Thursday doesn't squeeze out much rain. The forecast is for just a few hundredths of an inch of rain with the bulk of that coming next Tuesday.

Let's talk snow.

The GFS model's total snowfall forecast through a week from Monday offers some hope for you snow lovers. This would come primarily a week from this Saturday in the form of lake-effect snow. I posted yesterday about the unusually warm Great Lakes water temperatures setting us up for some potentially big lake-effect snow events. This model suggests about one to five inches could be coming. It is VERY EARLY and I expect this forecast will be refined a few times so stay tuned.

The European model isn't as bullish on the snow but does spit out some light amounts for a week from this Saturday. It is only laying down about a quarter to a half inch in total.

The GFS model's meteogram for O'Hare stretches our dry streak through Monday and then brings the next chance of rain here later Tuesday. More rain is forecast for a week from today and then eventually changes to snow by late Saturday and lingers into Sunday.

The longer term precipitation outlooks still favor us for above average precipitation next Wednesday and through the following weekend. Beyond that we are outlooked to return to near normal precipitation. The latest 6-10 day forecast has the Chicago area favored for above average precipitation (which can take the form of rain or snow now) from November 10th through November 14th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast also has us outlooked for about average precipitation for the period from November 12th through November 18th.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Sunny skies, breezy High: 53

Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny, breezy & milder Low: 39 High: 58

Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 43 High: 64

Monday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 48 High: 66

Tuesday: Partly to mostly cloudy, chance of rain late Low: 49 High: 60

Wednesday: Partly to mostly cloudy, scattered showers possible Low: 45 High: 57

Thursday: Mostly cloudy, chance of rain Low: 48 High: 55


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