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  • Tim McGill

Scorching August Heat & Strong Storms Then Relief

There were strong indications that we would see a record high on Wednesday. My forecast was for 98°. The high at O'Hare hit 94°. Smoke from wildfires out west dimmed the sun enough to prevent reaching record highs. That same smoke has lead to some beautiful sunrises and sunsets the past few days. The smoke will probably not be as thick as yesterday but it will still have an influence on our high temperatures.

Today's highs should reach into the lower to middle 90s. The record high for today's date of 97° should not be in jeopardy.

Even without breaking records it will still be dangerously hot. Dew points will be a bit higher today and climb further tomorrow. The heat index or what it will feel like after combining the temperature and humidity will climb into the middle to upper 90s today and tomorrow.

Cooler air is coming for the weekend. Saturday's highs will be in the 70s. So after 7 straight days with highs in the 90s and 23 straight days with temperatures above average some relief will arrive.

The cooler pattern that arrives this weekend will stick around well into September. The 6-10 day and 8-14 day temperature probability forecasts have most of the midwest and the plains outlooked for below average temperatures overall from September 1st through September 9th.

The transition from 90s to 70s will be a bit bumpy though. Scattered showers and thunderstorms possible late today but especially tomorrow. Only a slight chance for a hit or miss shower or thunderstorm this weekend.

The Storm Prediction Center has northern Illinois in either a marginal or slight risk for severe storms late today and tonight and a slight to enhanced risk for Friday into Friday night. The greatest risk will be damaging winds and large hail but an isolated tornado can't be ruled out. Late Friday afternoon into Friday night seems most favored for severe storms.

Those showers and thunderstorms will bring some welcome rains to our area. There are indications a wetter pattern could stick around into the start of September. The longer range precipitation probability forecast has us outlooked for above average precipitation overall from September 1st through the 9th.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Partly/mostly sunny, isolated thunderstorm possible High: 94

Friday: Partly cloudy, sct. showers & t-storms (some strong) mainly late Low: 74 High: 93

Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 68 High: 78

Sunday: Mostly sunny Low: 60 High: 79 (72 Lakefront)

Monday: Partly to mostly cloudy, sct. shower/t-storm possible Low: 60 High: 79

Tuesday: Partly cloudy, sct. showers & thunderstorms Low: 59 High: 77

Wednesday: Partly cloudy, sct. showers & thunderstorms Low: 59 High: 78



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