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  • Tim McGill

Smooth Sailing For Now

Quiet & Not Too Cold

The sun was shining early today on Wrigley Field. It was a welcome sight after a drab and dreary week with very little sunshine. Just 82 days from now the Cubs will host the Pirates there for there home opener. In just 49 days the Cubs will take on the Dodgers in their first spring training game.

Today will mark the 15th straight day with above average temperatures. January is now running 7.4° above average. This follows a December that was 5.1° above average.

Highs today should be in the lower to middle 30s. Average high for this date is 31°.

No bitter blasts of Arctic air in sight. Our above average streak should continue through at least next Thursday. Highs will warm to near 40° by then.

Most of the country will be relatively mild next week. Thursday may be the warmest day of the week. The temperature anomaly forecasts has most of the Midwest around 15° to 25° above average. Parts of southern Illinois could be around 30° above average.

"Convergence" Continues To Squeeze Out Snow

Northwest and northeasterly winds will collide over Lake Michigan and along the lakeshore to squeeze out occasional flurries or a spotty snow shower.

I discussed this in yesterday's post. This process is called "convergence". Air ascends it expands and cools enough over areas of convergence to sometimes produce precipitation. This process along with some light lake effect snow could lay down a dusting in spots.

The winter snowfall deficit continues to grow. There has been 4.7" of snow since December 1st but we normally have 10.8" by now.

The GFS model cloud cover and precipitation meteogram shows at least three chances for some light snow over the next ten days. They would come next Friday and over that following weekend. There will be some breaks in the cloud cover today through early next week for some welcome peeks of sun.

The accumulated snowfall forecast meteogram for O'Hare considers not just the GFS model but many different computer models. There are a few models that suggest some minor accumulation this weekend with most spitting out just over a dusting mainly today. Then the focus shifts to next Friday with another shot at light snow.

No Consensus In Long Range Snowfall Forecast

The GFS model forecast lays down about a half inch of snow in total over the next ten days ending on Monday, January 18th.

The European model is calling for three to five inches over the next ten days. Most of that snow comes at the end of the period on Monday, January 18th.

Around Or Above Average

Our relatively mild pattern should continue beyond the middle of the month. The longer range temperature probabilities forecasts no longer have us outlooked for above average or near normal temperatures overall. The 6-10 day temperature probability forecast has Chicago and areas north and west of here outlooked for above average temperatures overall from January 14th through January 18th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast has us outlooked for about average temperatures overall during the period from January 16th through January 22nd too.

The experimental multi-model ensemble temperature probability forecast for February keeps that mild pattern coming. Not just the Midwest but most of the country is outlooked for above average temperatures overall for next month.

Near Normal Precip Pattern

The longer range precipitation probabilities forecasts has us outlooked first about average precipitation. The 6-10 day forecast from January 14th through January 18th has us outlooked for near normal precipitation although most of Illinois outside of Chicago is favored for below average precipitation. The 8-14 day forecast has us also near normal in northern Illinois for precipitation from January 16th through the 22nd.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Partly/mostly cloudy, a few flurries or spotty light snow showers High: 36

Sunday: Mostly cloudy Low: 24 High: 32

Monday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 23 High: 33

Tuesday: Partly to mostly cloudy Low: 25 High: 36

Wednesday: Partly to mostly cloudy Low: 26 High: 38

Thursday: Chance of rain changing to snow Low: 29 High: 39

Friday: Mostly cloudy, light snow possible Low: 27 High: 35



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