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  • Tim McGill

Still No Need For A Shovel

Just Minor Accumulation Today

Our first snow of fall fell on Friday and was about two weeks late. The average date we see the first flakes of the season is October 31st. We had just a trace of snow Friday and that was followed by a trace of snow on Saturday and Sunday too. Today will probably be the 4th straight day with at least a trace of snow.

Today's scenario for snow is far from perfect. Most models are squeezing out little to no accumulation.

The snowfall forecast meteogram below considers several different model solutions for today's snow. The range of snow forecast from the models is between as little as just a tenth of an inch to as much as just under an inch. I am favoring the lower end of that range in my forecast. Mostly areas will get a dusting to a couple tenths of an inch sticking mainly on grassy or elevated surfaces.

Let's consider both the GFS model's ("American model") total snowfall forecast and the ECMWF model's ("European model") output.

The GFS model's total snowfall forecast through today squeezes out around a quarter to half inch of snow for most areas. Our northern suburbs get zilch from this model while our far southern suburbs get around an inch.

The European model is more stingy with the snow. It only lays down a couple tenths of an inch. This seems to be the better bet for today's forecast. Notice how areas south and west of the city are more favored for snowfall.

The GFS model's meteogram for O'Hare shows light snow today and then plain old rain later Wednesday into early Thursday.

The longer range precipitation forecasts points towards an eventual return to near normal precipitation. The latest 6-10 day forecast starts us out favored for above average precipitation (which can take the form of rain or snow now) from November 20th through November 24th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast also has us outlooked for about average precipitation for the period from November 22nd through November 28th.

Rollercoaster Temperature Ride

Sunday's high of 37° was the coldest since early March. Today will be the third day in a row with highs only in the 30s. The last time we had a stretch as cold or colder than that was in late February! The good news is that we will warm up through Wednesday.

Average highs for this time of the year have dropped into the upper 40s. The HRRR model has temperatures topping out today in the middle to upper 30s.

The thaw begins on Tuesday. Temperatures climb to near 50° by the afternoon south of the city with most of us in the middle to upper 40s. The high tomorrow should come late at night as temperatures continue to climb into the lower 50s just before midnight.

GFS Model Forecast Temperatures For 3 PM Tuesday

The GFS Model warms us up Wednesday well into the 50s early in the day. Temperatures will fall a bit during the afternoon as a cold front crosses through the area.

GFS Model Forecast Temperatures For 8 AM Wednesday

We turn colder again for the end of the week but not quite as cold as the past few days. The GFS model temperature anomaly forecast for Friday afternoon shows temperatures here between 4° to 8° below average. That means our highs on Friday will be around 40°.

Notice the fairly steady temperature climb beginning tomorrow morning. Temperatures tumble just a bit late in the day.

Winds start to pick up later tomorrow with gusts over 20 mph by the afternoon.

Our best chance of snow today is during the afternoon into the early evening.

The National Blend Of Models has our highs peaking Wednesday in the upper 50s before falling for the end of the week. We bounce back a bit for the weekend with highs in the middle 40s.

The longer range temperature outlooks keep us colder than average overall from next Saturday through the weekend the weekend after Thanksgiving. The 6-10 day outlook has us favored for below average temperatures overall from November 20th through November 24th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast also favors us for below average temperatures overall from November 22nd through November 28th. Average highs for this period are in the middle 40s to upper 40s with average lows in the lower 30s.

The even longer term 30 day temperature anomaly forecast suggests a colder than average pattern overall from now into the middle of December. Most of the area is outlooked to be about 1° to 3° below average during the period. This forecast covers the period from November 13th through December 13th. 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. Average highs by early December drop into the upper 30s.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Cloudy & cold, light snow with minor accumulation under 1" High: 38°

Tuesday: Partly to mostly cloudy, becoming breezy Low: 30 High: 54

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy, rain Low: 48 High: 57

Thursday: Partly to mostly sunny, windy Low: 32 High: 40

Friday: Mostly cloudy Low: 25 High: 41

Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 30 High: 45

Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 34 High: 44


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