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  • Tim McGill

More 80s Before A Dramatic Drop

July Like Warmth Through Wednesday

Chicago photographer Barry Butler captured a beautiful sunset Saturday night behind Buckingham Fountain. It was the first sunset with the fountain turned on since September of 2019.

This past Saturday and Sunday marked the warmest weekend in nearly nine months for Chicago. The 88° high on Saturday was the warmest day we have seen since early September last year. We have a few more days with 80s to enjoy before a dramatic drop in temperatures by the end of the week.

The average high for today's date is 73°. Some peaks of sun and southwest breezes will push today's highs well into the 80s.

Today will be the 6th straight day with a high of at least 80°. We should stretch that streak to eight straight days on Wednesday. A spotty shower can't be ruled out today but a greater threat of rain comes late Tuesday into Wednesday morning. Watch for some gusty winds to develop Tuesday that will exceed 30 mph at times.

After 80s through Wednesday we'll see a dramatic drop in temperatures for the end of the week. We slide back into the 60s for highs by Thursday and fall into the 50s for highs by Friday. Temperatures do recover by Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend with highs back well into the 70s.

The GFS model is forecasting a range of temperatures across the area by late Thursday afternoon. It the model verifies, our northern suburbs would fall into the lower 50s while our southern suburbs wouldn't be quite as cool but still well below average with middle 60s.

The temperature anomaly forecast is probably the best way to visualize the weather whiplash that we will experience this week. We start off the week with temperatures this afternoon around 10° to 15° above average. That means we warm up into at least the lower to middle 80s. The northern plains, Midwest and southeast will enjoy a warm start to the week.

By Friday afternoon most of the Midwest will be between 10° to nearly 30° below average. Here in Chicago we will be around 10° to 15° below average. That means temperatures in the middle to upper 50s. That will be a 30° to almost 35° drop from today's temperatures for some of us.

Hope For Help With The Drought?

I posted an update to our drought situation on Friday. Nearly 3% of northern Illinois is in a severe drought. That includes the north side of the city, northern DuPage & Cook counties, northeastern Kane county, all of Lake county and most of McHenry county. O'Hare is now down 2.91" of rain below average for May and a whopping 7.15" below average since March 1st. If we didn't receive any more rainfall this month it would end up being the 7th driest May on record.

Fortunately, we will see some rain though before May is done. The GFS model suggests just spotty showers today but a more significant rainfall potentially late Tuesday into early Wednesday.

The GFS model total rainfall forecast through Wednesday afternoon has a range of rainfall in northern Illinois. Our far southern suburbs and northwest Indiana would see the lightest totals with around a third of an inch of rain expected there. The rest of the area would pick up between a half inch to just over three quarters of an inch of rain.

Above Average Again By The Start Of June

The longer range temperature probability forecasts have us outlooked to be above average overall from the last few days of May into the first week of June. The 6-10 day forecast favors us for above average temperatures overall from May 29th through June 2nd. The 8-14 day temperature probability forecast keeps us above average overall from May 31st through June 6th. In both cases we are in the lower end of the probabilities so it isn't a particularly strong signal. Average highs for this period are in the lower to middle 70s.

The even longer range Subseasonal Experiment (SubX) temperature anomaly forecast is favoring the Chicago area for near normal temperatures for the middle of next month. The average highs for this period are in the upper 70s to lower 80s. The temperature anomaly forecast for the week ending June 11th has us outlooked for about average temperatures overall. The forecast for the following week ending on June 18th also has Chicago outlooked for about average temperatures overall.

About Average Rainfall Isn't Enough

The longer range precipitation probability forecasts have us outlooked for around average precipitation from the end of May into the first week of June. It will take more than just average rainfall to help Chicago deal with the ongoing drought. The latest 6-10 day forecast has Chicago favored for about average precipitation from May 29th through June 2nd. The longer range 8-14 day forecast also has us favored for about average precipitation overall from May 31st through June 9th.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: A.M. fog, partly to mostly cloudy, warm High: 85

Tuesday: Partly to cloudy, pm sct. showers/thunderstorms Low: 69 High: 84

Wednesday: Sct. showers mainly early, partly to mostly cloudy Low: 67 High: 82

Thursday: Partly to mostly cloudy, a few showers early & late Low: 54 High: 67

Friday: Mostly cloudy, scattered showers Low: 53 High: 59 (cooler lakeside)

Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 51 High: 66 (cooler lakeside)

Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 54 High: 76 (cooler lakeside)



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