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  • Tim McGill

Spring Is Right Around The Corner

Couple Degrees Colder Today

Meteorological spring is just five days away. It starts on March 1st when the average high is 40°. On the last day of spring, May 31st, the average high soars to 75°. That is encouraging but the reality is we aren't out of the woods yet in terms of snow. March averages 5.6" of snow and April averages 1.2". Even May averages a trace of snow.

Lately we have been melting more snow than we have been accumulating. Yesterday alone O'Hare's snow depth dropped four inches. It was the third straight day with highs in the 40s. If we hit 40° or more today it will be the fourth straight day of 40s. That would be the longest stretch of 40s in a little over two months.

Look for some sunshine mixed with clouds today and a high near 40°. That is about 5° colder than Wednesday but still a bit above average.

Spring In The Air Saturday

Our milder pattern that kicked in a few days ago should continue well into next week. There is only one day of the next seven that may be just a bit below average. Monday's highs might fall just short of 40°. Saturday and next Wednesday will be the two warmest days during this seven day stretch.

The temperature anomaly forecast for this Saturday shows most of Illinois about 10° to 20° above average. That means highs flirting with 50°. More than half the country should be well above average.

No Significant Snow

The latest GFS model's meteogram continues to keep us free of significant snow for the next ten days. It brings us a little light rain early Saturday. The snowfall chances aren't zero though. At least one other model suggests a few wet snowflakes could mix with light rain late Friday night into Saturday.

The accumulated snowfall meteogram for O'Hare shows the range of snowfall predictions from several models. As mentioned above some models squeeze out some light snow Friday night into early Saturday. The range of snowfall from those models is about .4" to just over an inch of new snow in total. Just one model suggests a dusting of snow early Friday morning.

I ran the GFS model total snowfall accumulation through next Friday. It squeezes out about a tenth of an inch of snow near Midway and further southwest of the city. It has that snow falling a week from today.

Mild Pattern Into March

If the longer range temperature probability forecasts verify, the milder than average pattern we have enjoyed the past few days could last well into March. Average highs for this period are in the lower 40s. The latest 6-10 day temperature probability forecast has us outlooked for above average temperatures overall from March 2nd through March 6th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast keeps Chicago favored for above average temperatures overall from March 4th through March 10th. In either case, most of the country is outlooked to be milder than average overall.

Trending Towards A More Moist Pattern?

The long range precipitation probability forecasts bring in more precipitation just after the start of March. The 6-10 day forecast favors us for below average precipitation overall from March 2nd through February March 6th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast has us outlooked for near normal precipitation overall from March 4th through March 10th.

Springing Forward

The Climate Prediction Center's seasonal forecast for spring suggests a mild and moist pattern overall here. The temperature probability forecast for the months of March, April and May have us outlooked for above average temperatures overall. The precipitation probability forecast for the same period has us outlooked for above average precipitation overall.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Partly to mostly sunny High: 40

Friday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 22 High: 42

Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 33 High: 50

Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 35 High: 47

Monday: Mostly sunny Low: 26 High: 37

Tuesday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 25 High: 43

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



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