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  • Tim McGill

Some Sun Today But A Blustery & Wet End To The Week

Some Sun & Seasonably Cool Today

We started the month off mild but have abruptly turned to a cooler pattern. 20 of the first 21 days of October were above average but four of the past five have been cooler than average. We will have a warm up this weekend before a turn to an even colder pattern next week.

Today should be right around average. Average highs for today's date are around 58°. The GFS Model has our highs reaching the middle to upper 50s.

Clouds, showers and a wind off the lake will keep us a bit cooler on Thursday. The GFS Model has our highs reaching the lower to middle 50s Thursday.

We will bounce back a bit this weekend and should end up above average. A treat of a forecast for Sunday. On Halloween our highs should top out near or just above 60° with the help of some sunshine.

Sunday might see the last 60° high for some time. Temperatures will drop fairly dramatically for next week. Highs may fail to get out of the 40s Monday through Thursday. The temperature anomaly forecast for Wednesday afternoon has us about 5° to 10° below average. The average high for that date is 54° so we could see highs next Wednesday in the middle to upper 40s. That means it will be at least the coldest day since late May. If we fall short of 49° for a high it would be the coldest day in just over six months.

I mentioned yesterday the GFS Model added a little insult to injury in the forecast with the possibility of some light snow or flurries here Monday night into Tuesday but warned it is early and models can be fickle with the first flakes of the season.

The latest run of the GFS Model does not include any snowfall for next week but the European Model is now squeezing out some light snow for a week from Friday. Stay tuned.

No worries about any snow today. We will enjoy some sun mixed with clouds. Highs should top out in the middle 50s. Clouds will increase from the southwest to the northeast late today as a storm system approaches. That next storm will bring rain at times tomorrow. The chance of rain ramps up towards early Thursday afternoon and then stays high through Thursday night and Friday.

Winds will slowly but surely strengthen the next couple of days. Today's winds will be between 10 to 15 miles per hour but by tomorrow afternoon we should see gusts near or just above 20 miles per hour. It will be a windy end to the week on Friday with gusts over 30 mph possible.

Cool Then Cold

The timing for our weekend warm up is perfect for Halloween. Sunday's highs will be near 60°. The National Blend Of Models has our highs falling into the 40s for Monday through Thursday. This will be the coldest weather of the season so far.

The start of November could be cooler than average overall and then shift to near normal according to the longer range temperature outlooks. The 6-10 day outlook has us favored for below average temperatures overall from November 1st through November 5th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast favors us for about average temperatures from November 3rd through November 9th. Average highs for this period are in the lower to middle 50s.

The longer term 30 day temperature anomaly forecast has us near normal overall for the period from the end of October through the first three weeks and just beyond of November. We are outlooked to be around average overall for the period from October 25th through November 24th. 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.

Another Round Of Rain Coming

O'Hare is now running just under two inches of rain above average for October. Since the start of fall on September 1st O'Hare is down just one tenth of an inch of rain below average. Our soaking this past Sunday and Monday helped erase a huge rainfall deficit. Another round of rain is coming Thursday that will last through Friday night. It won't be as heavy as the last round tough. More on that below.

I expect our recent rain will have a major impact on the drought conditions in northern Illinois that will be reflected in the updated drought status that will be released later this week.

The most recent US Drought Monitor analysis was released Thursday. It was the second report in a row to bring mostly good news for Illinois. It does not reflect Sunday and Monday's rainfall though. Here is a recap:

The area in at least a moderate drought (level 1 our of 4) dropped dropped slightly compared to the previous analysis. The area in an at least severe drought (level 2 out of 4) did not change. The only big of discouraging news is the area consider "abnormally dry" jumped by almost 25%. That is the area most likely to slip into at least a moderate drought if conditions don't improve.

It's hard to see much change when looking at the side by side comparison of this week's Illinois drought map next to last week's. The only thing that stands out is the growing area of yellow or "abnormally dry" conditions.

Here is a summary of the impacts the ongoing drought is having on northern Illinois from the National Weather Service:

Volunteer observers across far northern Illinois indicate much lower then typical stream flows on area creeks and rivers, particularly along Beaver Creek and the Kishwaukee River.

Reports also indicate that lawns have gone dormant and there has been some stress to the trees. Few impacts to agriculture have been received recently, though the dry conditions and stressed crops have resulted in an early start to the harvest season across northern Illinois. Data available from the Illinois State Water Survey, USGS, and NCEP indicate that soil moisture, groundwater, and surface water levels remain below normal.

The Midwest receive more good news. Every drought category saw a reduction in area. The biggest drop was for portion of the region in an extreme drought. It was reduced by more than half compared to the last analysis.

Our soaking Sunday into Monday has left most of the area with a surplus of rain for the month so far. Most of the Chicago area has received between 150% to 300% of average rainfall for October with a few spots even seeing up to 300% to 400% of average.

The GFS model's meteogram for O'Hare has our next round of rain arriving in earnest tomorrow afternoon and lasting through Thursday night and Friday with some lingering rain into early Saturday morning.

The GFS model's total precipitation forecast through Saturday morning squeezes out about a half inch to nearly an inch of rain. The amounts are heavier closer to the lakefront because the rain will be enhanced by Lake Michigan.

The precipitation forecast for the first nine days of November is drier than average. It's important to point out that this time of the year the precipitation could be rain or snow (and sometimes something in-between). The latest 6-10 day forecast has the Chicago area favored for below average rainfall from November 1st through November 5th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast has us outlooked for below average precipitation too for the period from November 3rd through November 9th.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Partly to mostly sunny, clouds increase late High: 57

Thursday: Cloudy, chance of showers early then likely late Low: 47 High: 56

Friday: Cloudy, on & off showers, breezy (gusts to 30 mph) Low: 52 High: 56

Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 49 High: 58

Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 46 High: 60

Monday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 38 High: 50

Tuesday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 34 High: 48


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