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  • Tim McGill

So Long For Now To That February Feel

The Thaw Begins Today

It has felt a lot more like February the past few days than November. Monday was the third straight day with highs only in the 30s. We haven't had that kind of cold since late February. Monday was also the fourth straight day with at least a trace of snow at O'Hare. We haven't seen that many consecutive days with a trace of snow or more since the middle of February.

If you aren't ready for winter just yet, I have some good news. We get a reprieve from the cold and snow for the next few days.

The high of 36° on Monday was the coldest since March 1st. We should bounce back into the 50s before the day is through on this Tuesday.

Temperatures will climb fairly steadily right through midnight. The HRRR model has temperatures in the middle to upper 40s by 3 pm.

By 5 AM Wednesday morning we climb into the middle to upper 50s. This will be the warmest part of Wednesday as a cold front will cross through and temperatures will fall into the 40s during the afternoon.

Temperatures really tumble for Thursday. The GFS Model has highs Thursday only making it into the upper 30s.

The winds will add insult to injury Thursday. Gusts could approach 35-40 mph. That combination of cold temperatures and blustery conditions will make it feel like the 20s most of the day.

I jumped ahead to next Thursday to get a glimpse of what our temperatures might look like for Thanksgiving. The GFS model temperature anomaly forecast for Thanksgiving afternoon shows temperatures here between 3° to 6° below average. That would mean highs in the upper 30s.

Focusing on the next 48 hours or so and the temperature trend is clear. We climb into the 50s by midnight and then start off mild Wednesday morning before temperatures fall back into the 40s tomorrow afternoon.

It will be breezy both this afternoon and Wednesday afternoon with gusts near at least 25 mph.

Our best chance of rain in this period is the middle of Wednesday morning through the middle of Wednesday afternoon.

The National Blend Of Models has our highs peaking tomorrow in the upper 50s before falling for the end of the week. It has highs dropping into the 30s Thursday then recovering a bit for the weekend before they drop back into the 30s early next week.

The longer range temperature outlooks continue to keep us colder than average overall. This covers the period from Sunday through the Monday after Thanksgiving. The 6-10 day outlook has us favored for below average temperatures overall from November 21st through November 25th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast also favors us for below average temperatures overall from November 23rd through November 29th. Average highs for this period are in the middle 40s to upper 40s with average lows in the lower 30s.

The even longer term 30 day temperature anomaly forecast continues to suggest a colder than average pattern overall from now into the middle of December. Most of the area is outlooked to be about 2° to 4° below average during the period. This forecast covers the period from November 14th through December 14th. The Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS) is a weather forecast model made up of 21 separate forecasts, or ensemble members The model tries to give an idea of the amount of uncertainty in a forecast by running an ensemble of multiple forecasts which are each tweaked a bit with their initial conditions. Average highs by the middle of December drop into the middle 30s.

Plain Old Rain Wednesday

We are looking at light moderate rainfall for Wednesday. The GFS model's total precipitation forecast through the day tomorrow yields about a tenth of an inch to nearly a third of an inch of rain

Models are starting to pick up on some potential snow for late Sunday into early Monday. The GFS model's total snowfall forecast through Monday keeps the snow to our north and east. There could be a coating across our far northern suburbs along the Wisconsin state line and also in portions of northern Indiana.

The European model spits out about three quarters of an inch to nearly an inch for most of the area. Stay tuned!

The GFS model's meteogram for O'Hare shows our rain tomorrow. It doesn't bring in any more precipitation until the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It hints at some light snow then.

The longer range precipitation forecasts are trending us to a less active period by Thanksgiving week. The latest 6-10 day forecast starts us out favored for near normal precipitation (which can take the form of rain or snow now) from November 21st through November 25th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast has us outlooked for below average precipitation for the period from November 23rd through November 29th.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Partly to mostly cloudy, breezy High: 53

Wednesday: Cloud, rain likely, breezy, temperatures fall pm Low: 47 High: 59

Thursday: Partly to mostly sunny, windy Low: 32 High: 40

Friday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 25 High: 42

Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 32 High: 47

Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 35 High: 46

Monday: Partly to mostly cloudy, chance of snow or flurries Low: 31 High: 37


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