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  • Tim McGill

Squeezing Out More 70s

Terrific Tuesday Follows Magnificent Monday

Monday was magnificent with full sunshine and 70s for highs. Today will be terrific with plenty of sunshine and highs a degree or two warmer. October is running nearly 9° above average. This will be the third straight day above average and we should add one more to that streak on Wednesday before a fairly dramatic drop in temperatures on Thursday.

Average highs for today's date are around 61°. The HRRR model has our highs today reaching into the lower 70s with the help of sunshine and gusty southwest winds.

Showers should arrive late tomorrow but it will still be a warm Wednesday. The GFS Model has our highs soaring into the lower 70s for the third straight day. That is 10° above average.

A cold front will cross through early Thursday. Highs will fall into the upper 50s to near 60°.

We should stay relatively cool through the weekend but a warm up comes early next week. The GFS Model temperature anomaly forecast for Tuesday afternoon has us around 20° above average. With an average high on that date of 58° it would mean a high in the middle to upper 70s. That might be a bit too warm but we should see temperatures well above average by then.

We'll hit highs of 70° or warmer today and tomorrow. Sunshine and a southwest wind will help push those highs to nearly 10° above average.

There will be more sunshine today compared to tomorrow when clouds build with an approaching cold front. Scattered showers should mostly hold off until the late afternoon/evening hours Wednesday with possibly a rumble of thunder.

It will be a bit breezy today and tomorrow with gusts near or above 20 mph at times.

Rollercoaster Ride Continues

We are nearing one of the peaks of our fall rollercoaster temperature ride today and tomorrow with 70s. The National Blend Of Models has our highs slipping back to near 60° Thursday and falling into the 50s for Friday and through the weekend. We then climb back to 70° by Tuesday.

Our longer range temperature outlooks continue to show a fairly strong signal for a mild end to the month and start to November. The 6-10 day outlook has us favored for above average temperatures overall from October 24th through October 28th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast favors us for above average temperatures from October 26th through November 1st. Average highs for this period are in the upper 50s to near 60°.

Our overall mild pattern may stretch well into next month. The longer term 35 day temperature anomaly forecast still has us warmer than average overall through the third week of November. We are outlooked to be between 1° to 3° above average overall for the period from October 17th through November 21st. 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.

Some Significant Rain Next Week?

Today will be the 4th straight dry day but we are still above average in terms of rainfall this month. O'Hare has seen over two inches of rain so far this October and has a surplus of .12" of rain above average. There will be some showers late Wednesday into early Thursday but the rainfall amounts should be light. A more significant rain could impact the area early next week.

Even with the surplus of October rain we are still down 1.84" of rain below average since the start of September.

The most recent US Drought Monitor analysis was released last Thursday. It reflects the benefit of our recent rainfall. Here is a recap of that report:

The ongoing drought in northern Illinois was dealt a blow over the past week or so. Some serious rain put a significant dent in the drought. I have more details on the status of the drought further down in my post. The drought started back in the middle of April and arguably had two peaks. One was in the middle of June when nearly 3% of the state was in at least an extreme drought (level 3 out of 4). The second peak occurred just last week when the worst level of drought actually decreased but nearly 16% of the state was in at least a moderate drought, the highest point so far this year.

The areas in at least a moderate drought (level 1 our of 4) dropped nearly 28% while the area in an at least a severe drought (level 2 out of 4) decreased a whopping 86% from last week's analysis. We no longer have any part of the state in an extreme or exceptional drought (levels 3 and 4 out of 4).

The side by side comparison of this week's Illinois drought map next to last week's helps to visualize the improvement we have seen in just seven days time.

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 drought news for the entire Midwest was good too. The areas in every level of drought decreased since the last update.

We have been dry the past few days but the previously parched portions of northern Illinois are still enjoying a surplus of rain from our moist start to the month. Most of northern Illinois has received between 150% to 300% of average rainfall so far this month.

The GFS model's meteogram for O'Hare doesn't show any rain late tomorrow but most models are squeezing out at least some light rainfall. It does show some showers coming late Sunday night into early Monday with another round coming late Tuesday night into Wednesday.

The GFS model's total precipitation forecast through the weekend only squeezes out a few hundredths to a tenth of an inch of rain.

The rainfall amounts spike much higher when looking longer range. Running the model out through next Wednesday reveals there could be some significant rain early next week. The totals now jump to over two inches of rain. These numbers could change and not all the models are as moist so stay tuned.

The longer range precipitation outlooks still holds out promise for more precipitation to close out the month and start the next one. The latest 6-10 day forecast has the Chicago area favored for above average rainfall from October 24th through October 28th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast has us outlooked for above average precipitation from October 26th through November 1st too.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Mostly sunny, mild & breezy High: 72

Wednesday: Partly to mostly sunny, shower possible late Low: 54 High: 73

Thursday: Partly to mostly cloudy, spotty shower possible Low: 53 High: 60

Friday: Partly to mostly cloudy Low: 45 High: 56

Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 39 High: 59

Sunday: Partly to mostly cloudy, shower possible late Low: 46 High: 61

Monday: Partly to mostly cloudy, sct. showers possible Low: 53 High: 70