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  • Tim McGill

Say So Long To The 90s (For Now)

Cooler Air Coming In Wake Of Strong Storms

We may have failed to make it to 90° on Wednesday but it felt like close to 100° with our high humidity. O'Hare's high hit 88° while Midway managed to make it to 90°. All that heat and humidity helped fuel some severe storms overnight that started in the Northwoods of Wisconsin and swept southward into northern Illinois early this morning.

The Storm Prediction Center's storm reports shows the numerous wind damage reports a congealing line of severe storms caused as it moved through the Midwest last night. Numerous reports of large trees down in northern Illinois last night with gusts over 60 mph quite common.

In the wake of those severe storms we have some cooler air moving later today but the real relief arrives in time for Friday with a significant drop in dew points.

The HRRR Model has our highs climbing well into the 80s today but as winds strengthen off the lake we will see our temperatures tumble into the lower 80s this afternoon and even sliding into the 70s lakeside.

Friday's highs will only manage to make it into the middle to upper 70s. Average highs for late July are in the lower to middle 80s.

Still a little steamy today but as dew points drop this afternoon and temperatures fall it will start to fell a bit more comfortable. Drier air moving in on gusty northeast winds means our rain threat drops to zero. Those winds will be the cause for some concern along the lakefront. More on that below.

Heat index levels may climb to near 90° with high dew points early in the day. Dew points are the preferred measurement of moisture for meteorologists. Dew points drop dramatically tonight into Friday as they fall into the 50s. Friday will not just be cooler but more comfortable in terms of humidity.

The National Blend Of Models has at least three days of the next ten with highs only in the 70s. Most of next week will be about average for this time of the year with highs in the lower 80s.

So 70s on Friday and then back into the 80s Saturday before sliding back into the 70s Sunday. Most of the Midwest, Tennessee and Ohio valley will have temperatures Sunday afternoon around 5° to 15° below average.

We start off cool and then turn warm. The 6-10 day forecast has outlooked Chicago for below average temperatures overall from August 3rd through August 7th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast favors us for above average temperatures overall from August 5th through August 11th. Average highs are in the lower to middle 80s for the end of July and start to August.

The even longer range Subseasonal Experiment (SubX) temperature anomaly forecasts keeps us around average for the week ending on August 13th with areas just west and south of us expected to be cooler than average. The following week we are forecast to move back above average. The forecast for the week ending on August 20th favors us for above average temperatures overall.

Danger Along The Shoreline

Gusty northeast winds will whip up waves as big as 7 feet later today into Friday. A beach hazards statement is in effect until 7 pm Friday evening for the lakefront. Dangerous rip currents will add to the swim risk.

Stay tuned and check the forecast if you are headed to the beaches this week.

Storms Bring Some Drought Relief

Rain from last night's storms fell in some of our drought stricken areas. I will have the latest updated drought analysis from the US Drought Monitor tomorrow.

We are now down 1.58" of rain below average for July at O'Hare and nearly 6 inches since the start of spring. Possible strong storms overnight into Thursday morning may bring some relief four our drought stricken northern suburbs.

There was some slightly better news on the drought in our northern suburbs last week. Here is a recap from Friday's post of our drought conditions based on the latest analysis from the US Drought Monitor:

The area of Illinois in a moderate drought (level 1 out of 4) has dropped slightly from 7.32% last week to 7.17% this week. The area of the state in a severe drought (level 2 out of 4) has increased slightly from 2.40% a week ago to 2.31% this week. There is not longer any portion of Illinois experiencing an exceptional drought (level 3 out of 4). Last week just under 1% of the state fell into that category.

Rainfall over a two week period that ended on July 21st shows large portions of our area received very little rainfall during those 14 days. Hardest hit was already parched portions of Lake and McHenry counties where just 10% to 25% of average rainfall fell.

The latest GFS model shows we dry out today with the next chance for a scattered shower or thunderstorm late Saturday into early Sunday. After that we remain dry most of next week with more rain possible a week from Friday.

The GFS model total rainfall forecast through the next two weeks is only squeezing out around a couple tenths of an inch of rain to around a third of an inch.

The long range precipitation probability forecasts keep us dry at first and then suggest we get back to about average rainfall. The latest 6-10 day forecast has the Chicago area favored for below average precipitation overall from August 3rd through August 7th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast has us favored for near normal precipitation overall from August 5th through August 11th.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Partly to mostly cloudy, breezy High: 86 (falling temps late this afternoon)

Friday: Mostly sunny, cooler, less humid Low: 65 High: 79 (cooler lakeside)

Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny, sct. t-storm possible late Low: 64 High: 83

Sunday: Mostly sunny Low: 64 High: 78 (cooler lakeside)

Monday: Mostly sunny Low: 61 High: 77 (cooler lakeside)

Tuesday: Mostly sunny Low: 62 High: 81 (cooler lakeside)

Wednesday: Mostly sunny Low: 63 High: 83 (cooler lakeside)


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