Steamy With Strong Storms Possible Then Cooler Weekend
Today will be the 6th day in a row with highs in the 90s. Remarkable when you consider the fact that 81° is the average high. Today will also be the 31st 90-degree day this year. 2020 will tie with 1987 as the third most 90-degree days on record.
Highs today should reach between 90° and 94° with the help of at least partial sunshine and a southwest wind.
Of course it's not just the heat but it's the humidity that makes it so uncomfortable. Dew points today will be near 70°. The combination of lower 90s and high dew points will make it feel like close to 100°.
It will feel 20° or more cooler Saturday afternoon compared to today. Highs on Saturday will be in the upper 70s to near 80°. Cold front slipping south of us tonight into early tomorrow will bring relief.
The high heat and humidity could fuel some strong storms especially late today and this evening. The Storm Prediction Center has us in the slight to enhanced risk category for severe weather today and tonight.
Slight risk means "short-lived and/or not widespread, isolated intense storms possible".
Enhanced risk means "more persistent and/or widespread, a few intense".
The greatest threat from storms today or tonight would be damaging winds and large hail but an isolated tornado can't be ruled out.
So scattered storms possible mainly late today into tonight then drying out for the weekend. Next week looks to be mostly dry but a few showers or thunderstorms are possible Monday night into early Tuesday and then again late Wednesday into early Thursday.
Any rainfall will be welcome rainfall. Parts of northern Illinois have now slipped into a moderate drought. I've blogged previously about the possibility of seeing a drop develop here. Parts of Cook, DuPage and Will county are now in a moderate drought while most of northern Illinois is experiencing at least "abnormally dry" conditions.
Our pattern seems to be shifting towards more rain over the next few weeks. The 6-10 day and 8-14 day precipitation probability forecasts have us outlooked for above average precipitation overall from September 1st through the 10th.
A cooler pattern may accompany the wetter pattern for the start of September. The 6-10 day and 8-14 day long range temperature probability forecasts have Chicago outlooked for below average temperatures overall from September 2nd through the 10th.
Here is my 7 day forecast:
Today: Cloud & sun mix, sct. t-storms mainly late High: 93
Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 68 High: 80
Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 60 High: 78 (73 Lakefront)
Monday: Partly to mostly cloudy Low: 60 High: 79
Tuesday: Partly cloudy, sct. shower or t-storm possible Low: 65 High: 80
Wednesday: Partly cloudy, sct. shower or t-storm possible Low: 63 High: 81
Thursday: Partly cloudy, sct. shower or t-storm possible Low: 65 High: 82