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  • Tim McGill

Stormy Start To Our Warm Up

The transition to warmer weather for Chicago could come with a price as thunderstorms fire up Thursday.

Dry and mild May weather today but still a bit below average. Highs for the middle of May should be near 70°. We will top out in the middle 60s today with highs a bit cooler along the lakefront. So far this month has been 5.7° below average. There are indications the cool pattern is about to come to a close. Warmer weather will slowly return this week with a bigger warm up next week.

A bit below average today then right around average on Thursday with highs near 70°. Friday may be a few degrees warmer with some lower 70s but again cooler lakeside. The GFS model has some 70s nudging north by Friday afternoon to at least our southern suburbs.

As we transition to warmer weather it could be wet at times. The GFS model meteogram for O'Hare shows quite a few green spikes or bars tomorrow into the first part of Friday. Each green bar represents a forecast of rain for that period and a red bar within means a thunderstorm is possible too. The next unsettle period after that is late Saturday into Sunday. The cloud cover forecast shows some sun mixed with clouds today, late Friday and early Saturday and then plenty of sunshine most of next week.

Our first round of rain tomorrow into early Friday could add up. The GFS total precipitation forecast through Friday morning suggests around .8" to a bit over an inch with the heavier amounts south of the city.

Some of Thursday's thunderstorms could be strong. The Storm Prediction Center has most of the area in the marginal risk for severe storms with areas south of the city in a slight risk area. Marginal risk means isolated severe storms are possible while slight risk means scattered severe storms possible. Large hail and damaging winds are the biggest threat Thursday and into early Friday morning.

The longer range forecasts continue to hold out hope for a bigger warm up next week and beyond. Both the 6-10 day and 8-14 day has us outlooked for above average temperatures overall through nearly the end of May. This would mark a dramatic pattern shift for the middle and end of the month compared to the cool stretch we saw starting in April and through the first part of May.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Partly to mostly sunny, becoming breezy High: 65 (60 Lakefront)

Thursday: On & off showers/thunderstorms(some possibly strong), windy Low: 52 High: 69

Friday: Sct. shower possible early then partly sunny Low: 55 High: 71 (59 Lakefront)

Saturday: Partly to mostly cloudy, pm sct. shwr/t-strms Low: 51 High: 70 (57 Lakefront)

Sunday: Sct. showers early then partly sunny Low: 56 High: 67 (57 Lakefront)

Monday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 48 High: 67 (55 Lakefront)

Tuesday: Mostly sunny Low: 50 High: 74 (65 Lakefront)


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