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  • Tim McGill

Grab The Scraper, Not The Shovel

Some Slushy Snow Coming Sunday

The first snow of fall fell on Friday with O'Hare reporting .1" officially. It was nearly two weeks overdue compared to when the first flakes usually fly here. We are still down .3" below average through today's date in terms of snowfall. We'll could make up that deficit late tonight into early tomorrow as a "clipper" slides south through the area. Factors that will influence the amount of snow that actually sticks includes the warmth of the ground, how much of the precipitation will be in the form of rain versus snow, the exact path of the system and how quickly it moves through.

The snowfall forecast meteogram below considers several different model solutions for this system. The range of snow forecast from the models is between as little as just a tenth of an inch to a bit over an inch and half.

I want to focus on the GFS model's ("American model") total snowfall forecast and the ECMWF model's ("European model") output.

The GFS model's total snowfall forecast through Monday morning spits out about a third of an inch of snow to nearly a half inch for most of the area. The higher amounts south of the city and in northern Indiana include some additional lake effect snow falling later Sunday into Sunday night.

The European model is again suggesting far less snowfall. It spits out just a tenth to a couple tenths of an inch of snow in total through Monday morning.

My forecast is something in-between the two models. I expect just a few tenths to maybe a third of inch for much of the area but higher amounts near the Wisconsin border. That is where up to an inch of slushy snow could stick. Most of this will fall between midnight through 9 AM Sunday morning. It will mix with rain at times initially and especially across our southern suburbs.

The GFS model's meteogram for O'Hare shows Sunday's rain and snow. Another round of rain is forecast for Wednesday which will be the warmest day of the week. More mixed precipitation possible late Friday into Saturday.

The longer range precipitation forecasts dries us out from next Thursday through the day after Thanksgiving. The latest 6-10 day forecast has most of the Chicago area favored for below average precipitation (which can take the form of rain or snow now) from November 18th through November 22nd. The longer range 8-14 day forecast also has us outlooked for below average precipitation for the period from November 20th through November 26th.

Coldest Air Of Season So Far

Yesterday's high of 43° was the coldest since late April. Today and tomorrow's highs should be a couple degrees colder which would make it the coldest highs since the start of April. This will be the coldest couple of days in over seven months.

We will again fall shy of the average high of 50° for this time of year today. The HRRR model has temperatures topping out near 40°.

Gusty winds will again add insult to injury today. Most of the day our wind chills will be in the upper 20s to lower 30s.

The GFS Model keeps the cold coming Sunday too. It is forecasting highs only in the upper 30s tomorrow.

More of the same on Monday with highs forecast to reach only into the upper 30s to near 40°.

We warm up quickly though next week. Highs bounce back into the 50s by Tuesday. The GFS model temperature anomaly forecast for Wednesday morning shows temperatures here between 15° to 25° below average. That means our lows that morning will be close to the highs we typically see this time of year.

Gusty winds will combine with chilly temperatures today and tomorrow to make it feel like the middle to upper 20s to lower 30s through the weekend.

The chances for rain and snow ramp up late tonight and stay high early Sunday morning before starting to taper off tomorrow afternoon.

The National Blend Of Models has our highs peaking in the 50s Tuesday and Wednesday after a cold weekend and chilly start to next week. Highs then fall back into the 40s Thursday and stay there through at least next Tuesday.

The longer range temperature outlooks keep us colder than average overall during the period from the end of next week through Thanksgiving week. The 6-10 day outlook has us favored for below average temperatures overall from November 18th through November 22nd. The longer range 8-14 day forecast also favors us for below average temperatures overall from November 20th through November 26th. Average highs for this period are in the middle 40s to upper 40s with average lows in the lower 30s.

The even longer term 30 day temperature anomaly forecast had been favoring us for near normal temperatures but is now showing some blue in northern Illinois. Most of the area is outlooked to be near normal overall but surrounding the city the area shaded in light blue is now favored to be about 1° to 3° below average during the period. This forecast covers the period from November 11th through December 11th. 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. Average highs by early December drop into the upper 30s.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Mostly cloudy, peeks of sun, blustery High: 40°

Sunday: Light rain/snow early then scattered rain & snow showers, windy Low: 32 High: 39

Monday: Partly to mostly cloudy, light rain or snow possible late Low: 28 High: 39

Tuesday: Partly to mostly cloudy Low: 33 High: 57

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy, chance of rain Low: 44 High: 54

Thursday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 31 High: 42

Friday: Mostly cloudy Low: 30 High: 42


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