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  • Tim McGill

Lovely Labor Day Weekend

Mild To Warm & Mostly Dry

We wrapped up our rather warm summer of 2021 on Tuesday. The average temperature for the months of June, July and August was 75.3°. That ties as the 8th warmest summer on record.

Meteorological fall started Wednesday and right on cue we had our coolest day since August 1st. Yesterday's high was 76° (4° below average). Lows this morning dipped into the lower 50s in outlying areas and unofficially into the upper 40s in Crystal Lake.

The HRRR Model has our highs today again the the middle to upper 70s. The cooler end of that range will be along the lakefront with a breeze off of Lake Michigan.

Another relatively cool night coming tonight. Lows should fall into the upper 50s well west of Chicago.

So with 70s for highs today and dew points in the lower to middle 50s it will be another very pleasant day in terms of humidity.

The brisk northeast breeze that whipped up large waves along the southern end of Lake Michigan yesterday and last night will diminish today. Winds shift back to the south tomorrow. That would ordinarily warm things up here but more cloud cover will offset that so Friday's highs will also be in the middle to upper 70s.

There is little to no chance of rain today but a few spotty showers possible tomorrow afternoon.

Wildfire smoke aloft may give the sun a hazy appearance today. The smoke concentrations will be a bit higher this afternoon compared to the past several days. The HRRR Model vertically integrated smoke forecast has the thicker smoke (depicted in orange and red) near the source of the wildfires out west and across the northern Rockies and plains.

The National Blend Of Models has our highs stuck in the 70s through Saturday. We bounce back into the lower 80s Sunday through Tuesday. No extreme heat in sight. The warmest day of the next eleven is a week from Sunday when highs climb into the middle 80s.

We may be flipping from a cooler pattern to warmer one by the middle of the month. The 6-10 day forecast has outlooked Chicago for below average temperatures overall from September 7th through September 11th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast favors us for above average temperatures overall from September 9th through September 15th. Average highs for this period are in the upper 70s.

The Climate Forecast System or coupled forecast system (both names abbreviated CFS) is a medium to long range numerical weather prediction and a climate model run by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). It keeps us cooler than average overall through the entire month of September.

Showers Few & Far Between This Weekend

There may be a few spotty showers Friday afternoon and night and a few also Saturday but the vast majority of this weekend will be dry. While that is good news for outdoor plans this Labor Day weekend, it is bad news for our most parched portions of Illinois.

In the past couple of weeks there has been little rainfall where it is most needed. Portions of McHenry county (in blue and purple) picked up some heavy rainfall from thunderstorms last week but most of that county is still very dry. Parts of Lake County, McHenry County and DeKalb County have only seen 10% to 25% of average rainfall for the two week period ending on August 31st.

The latest analysis from the US Drought Monitor did not show any significant improvement for our northern suburbs mired in a moderate to severe drought.

Here is a recap from Friday's post:

The latest US Drought Monitor analysis is discouraging. The portion of Illinois in a severe drought (level 2 out of 4 levels) dropped remains unchanged from last week at .79%. The area in a moderate drought (level 1 out of 4 levels) has increased to 7.93% compared to 7.33% last week. There is also a growing area considered "abnormally dry". That has increased to 21.63% from 15.42 % last week.

The Midwest region's drought news is mixed. The area in a moderate and extreme drought has expanded a bit while the area in a severe drought diminished a bit. The area in an exceptional drought remains unchanged from a week ago.

The latest GFS model shows the possibility of a few showers late Saturday but a better chance for some rain next Tuesday into Tuesday night. That's when a cold front could trigger some scattered showers and thunderstorms.

It's a pitiful precipitation forecast for this holiday weekend. The total precipitation forecast through Monday evening from the GFS model is now calling for barely any rain at all to at most, about two tenths of an inch.

The longer range rainfall forecasts start off dry and the move to near normal precipitation by the middle of the month. The latest 6-10 day forecast has the Chicago area favored for below average precipitation from September 7th through September 11th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast favors most of the Chicago area for about average precipitation from September 9th through September 15th with our far southern and southwestern suburbs favored for below average precipitation.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Partly to mostly sunny, mild & pleasant High: 78 (74 lakeside)

Friday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 62 High: 77

Saturday: Partly to mostly cloudy, spotty shower possible Low: 64 High: 76

Sunday: Mostly sunny Low: 62 High: 81

Monday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 62 High: 82

Tuesday: Partly to mostly cloudy, sct. showers/t-storms Low: 61 High: 80

Wednesday: Mostly sunny, cooler Low: 59 High: 79


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