Summer In April
Near Record Highs Today
Monday's high of 79° is a more typical temperature for the middle of June. Today's highs in the middle 80s is what we expect in July. We could be flirting today with the record high of 87° set back in 1986.
Southwesterly breezes with some sunshine should push our highs well into the 80s. This summer-like warmth will be felt right up to the lakefront but a wind shift late today will bring in cooler air off of Lake Michigan.
A backdoor cold front will shift the winds off the lake this evening. By 8 pm temperatures will tumble lakeside as they will fall into the 50s. That cooler air will catch up with all of us by Wednesday.
The temperature anomaly forecast shows Chicago will have the largest departure on the warm side of average compared to the rest of the country. Our afternoon temperatures will be around 20° above average here.
Winds won't be as strong today compared to Monday. O'Hare had a wind gust of 50 mph on yesterday. Today's gusts will be closer to 30 mph. Those southwesterly winds will shift this evening off the lake and usher in much cooler air for tonight and tomorrow.
Putting A Dent In The Drought
We should get some much needed rainfall over the course of the next ten days as a more active pattern settles in. This should help put a dent in the drought that expanded a bit last week. The GFS model brings in several rounds of rain starting late tonight. We will have periods of showers and thunderstorms late tonight into tomorrow and again later Wednesday into Thursday. More unsettled weather possible late Saturday into Sunday. The model hints at two more periods of rain next week that include late Tuesday and the following Thursday.
The Storm Prediction Center has placed us in an area with a marginal risk of severe weather for tonight. The biggest threat from some possible strong storms would be large hail and gusty winds. The best chance for storms is late tonight into early Wednesday morning.
The GFS model precipitation accumulation forecast through Friday afternoon offers some hope for help with the drought now in place for parts of northern Illinois. The range of predicted rainfall this week is from as little as a third of an inch north of the city to nearly two inches well south and southwest of Chicago. This rain will be welcomed because we are down more than two inches of rain from average for April and more than three and a half inches since March 1st or the start of spring.
The Rise Before The Fall
The hourly temperature meteogram compares many different forecast models. After feeling just like July today and flirting with record highs we will see our temperatures tumble beginning this evening. Tomorrow's highs will fall into the 50s along the lakefront with lower to middle 60s away from the lake. Friday's highs will fail to get out of the 50s for some of us.
Mild Start To Next Month
The signal in the long range temperature probability forecasts for a relatively mild start to May has gotten a bit stronger. Most of the country is favored to be above average for nearly the first two weeks of May. The latest 6-10 day forecast has us outlooked for above average temperatures overall from May 2nd through May 6th. The 8-14 day temperature probability forecast has us favored for staying above average overall from May 4th through May 10th. Average highs for start of May are in the middle to upper 60s.
The even longer range Subseasonal Experiment (SubX) temperature anomaly forecast is signaling a cooler than average pattern settling in for the middle of May. The temperature anomaly forecast for the week ending May 14th has us outlooked to be below average overall. The forecast for the following week ending on May 21st has Chicago below average overall too. Average highs for this period are in the upper 60s to lower 70s.
From About To Above Average Precipitation
The long range precipitation probability forecasts once again favors us moving into a more active pattern. The latest 6-10 day forecast starts out with Chicago favored for about average precipitation from May 2nd through May 6th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast has us favored for above average precipitation overall from May 4th through May 10th.
Here is my 7 day forecast:
Today: Partly to mostly sunny, breezy (gusts to 30 mph) High: 85
Wednesday: Mostly cloudy, sct. shwrs/t-storms early & late Low: 54 High: 66 (55 lakeside)
Thursday: Mostly cloudy, showers mainly early Low: 48 High: 61 (cooler lakeside)
Friday: Mostly sunny Low: 44 High: 60 (cooler lakeside)
Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 45 High: 73 (cooler lakeside)
Sunday: Partly to mostly cloudy, chance of rain Low: 50 High: 74
Monday: Rain possible early, mostly cloudy Low: 55 High: 71 (cooler lakeside)