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  • Tim McGill

Some Snow & Colder Temps Coming But Nothing Brutal

Couple Of Colder Days In Forecast

We really can't complain too much about this winter. Yesterday was the 24th day in a row with temperatures above average. We have seen many days with snowfall but when it is all added up, we are still well behind average. There are a couple of colder days coming up and a few shots at snow but like we have seen so often this winter, no extreme weather expected.

Today will be one of those colder days but highs will actually be just a bit below average. Look for highs today in the upper 20s to near 30°.

We will warm up through Thursday with highs by then near 40°. We fall into the 20s for Friday and then recover back into the 30s by Sunday. Friday could be our first below average day in nearly a month.

A brisk breeze today combined with temperatures in the 20s most of the day will make it feel like the single digits or teens. It will be a bit blustery Wednesday too. Wind chills will climb out of the teens late Wednesday as the warm up begins.

A slight case of weather whiplash is coming in terms of temperatures. Thursday's highs will be well above average then we finally fall below average on Friday. The GFS model temperature anomaly forecast has northern Illinois has us about 10° to 15° above average late Wednesday (lower left image). We fall by Friday night to around 10° to 15° below average (lower right image).

GFS temperature anomaly forecasts for Wednesday evening (left) and Friday night (right) from ClimateReanalyzer.org

Two Chances For More Snow

O'Hare has seen five straight days with snowfall but during this period only 1.4" has fallen. That has been the pattern most of this winter. Several days with snowfall but very little overall when it's added up. There have been 19 days with snow this winter at O'Hare but on 11 of those days only a trace of snow has fallen. So far this winter there had been 6.2" of snow compared to an average to date of 14.3" for the season.

The GFS model cloud cover and precipitation meteogram has some light snowfall coming this afternoon and tonight. The next chance of any precipitation after that isn't until Sunday. That second system will probably start off with a wintry mix before ending with some light snow. Looking even longer range at another shot of some snow a week from this Wednesday into early next Thursday.

The accumulated snowfall meteogram for O'Hare considers not just the GFS model but many different computer models. It suggests a dusting to a possibly a half inch between today and tonight. That second system could bring anywhere between a dusting to nearly four inches. This is still a long way off and both the track and the strength of this second system could (and probably will) change between now and then so stay tuned.

Adding Up The Snow

The GFS model forecast spits out a dusting to nearly a half inch of snow for us between this afternoon and tonight. Most of the snow is gone by midnight.

The European model has similar snowfall numbers for today and tonight's system.

There is a more noticeable difference between those models on the longer range snowfall forecast.

The GFS model brings a grand total of around 2" to nearly 6" over the next ten days (including today). It spits out an additional half inch or so Sunday but most of the snow would come next Wednesday according to this model.

GFS Model Snowfall Accumulation Forecast Through Thursday, January 28th

The European model offers more hope for snow lovers. It squeezes out about 7" to 10" in total over the next ten days. On top of our snowfall today and tonight it brings in an inch or two on Sunday but the bulk of the snowfall in this forecast would come next Tuesday.

Around Average Temps To End The Month

The longer range temperature probability forecasts favor us for about average temperatures for the end of January and first day of February. The 6-10 day temperature probability forecast has the Chicago area outlooked for about average temperatures overall from January 24th through January 28th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast keeps the Chicago area outlooked for about average temperatures overall for the period from January 26th through February 1st.

The experimental multi-model ensemble has us outlooked slightly below average for the week ending on February 5th. It bumps us up a bit above average for the following week of February ending on the 12th.

The experimental multi-model ensemble temperature anomaly forecast for next month keeps the mild pattern we saw for the first two months of winter coming for February too. The only part of the country with below average temperatures on the map is a small portion of Washington and Idaho.

The precipitation probability forecast for February has the Midwest, including Chicago, and most of the northern half of the country outlooked for above average precipitation overall for next month. The southern tier of the US is outlooked for below average precipitation which is consistent with a La Nina pattern.

Long Range Look At Precip Pattern

We are outlooked to shift from above average precipitation overall to around average as we close out this month and start the next. The 6-10 day forecast from January 24th through January 28th has us outlooked for above average precipitation overall. Most of the map is green which means most of the country is outlooked for more precipitation than average during that period. The 8-14 day forecast has us outlooked for about average precipitation from January 26th through the February 1st. A lot less green on this map as more of the country dries out.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Mostly cloudy, flurries and light snow this afternoon High: 29

Wednesday: Partly to mostly sunny, a bit blustery Low: 16 High: 34

Thursday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 28 High: 39

Friday: Mostly sunny Low: 18 High: 26

Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 11 High: 28

Sunday: Mostly cloudy, light snow or mix possible Low: 20 High: 34

Monday: Light snow early, mostly cloudy Low: 27 High: 35



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