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  • Tim McGill

Near 60° Today But Snow* Friday? It's Spring In Chicago

After chilly 40s for highs Tuesday we will bounce back to near 60° today. A light wind off the lake will keep it cooler lakeside. Some sun mixed with clouds at times today will also be an improvement over yesterday's clouds and sprinkles.

Most of this week and weekend should be precipitation free. Best chance for showers and some thunderstorms actually comes next week. A more active pattern could bring some rain at times next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The O'Hare meteogram below includes plenty of green bars during that time period which indicates rainfall. Red bars within the green columns indicates the possibility of thunder. There is also quite a bit of sunshine at times too the next several days. Today, tomorrow, Saturday and early next week should feature some spring sunshine.

Now the bad news...

Friday will be frigid by May standards with highs failing to get out of the 40s. Gusty winds will make it feel even colder. To add insult to injury there is a chance for some rain and graupel showers later in the day. *Graupel is like snow's cousin. Here is the National Weather Service's definition of graupel:

Graupel are soft, small pellets formed whens supercooled water droplets (at a temperature below 32°F) freeze onto a snow crystal, a process called riming. If the riming is particularly intense, the rimed snow crystal can grow to an appreciable size, but remain less than 0.2 inches. Graupel is also called snow pellets or soft hail, as the graupel particles are particularly fragile and generally disintegrate when handled.

Any snow pellets that fall will quickly melt. So to sum it up for Friday we will have wind chills in the 30s with spotty rain showers possibly mixed with snow pellets at times. Don't adjust your calendars. It is May.

Look at the temperatures expected by early Saturday morning.

Lows Friday night into Saturday morning could actually dip down into the upper 20s north and west of the city in a few spots. Lower 30s are expected for most areas. Brace yourself (and your plants) for possibly a widespread frost and freeze here.

Hang in there because it will get better....

It will finally feel more like spring again towards the end of next week. If the GFS model verifies, the long range forecast brings 70s surging back here a week from Friday with some spots possibly hitting 80°.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Partly to mostly cloudy, not as cool, spotty pm shower? High: 60 (55 Lakefront)

Thursday: Sunny start then becoming mostly cloudy Low: 43 High: 63 (55 Lakefront)

Friday: Partly to mostly cloudy, spotty pm shower possible, windy Low: 38 High: 46

Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 31 High: 56 (48 Lakefront)

Sunday: Mostly cloudy, scattered showers Low: 39 High: 58

Monday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 38 High: 55

Tuesday: Partly to mostly cloudy, spotty pm shower? Low: 39 High: 58 (51 Lakefront)


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