Summer Starts Tomorrow (It Will Feel Like The Middle Of Summer By Friday)
Mild Memorial Day
We have been slowly but surely warming up since Friday when it felt more like March than May. We came close to making it into the record books last week. Our high Friday only made it to 49°. The record cool high for that date was 47° set 137 years ago. Since then we have been working our way back to about average. O'Hare climbed to 60° by Saturday and 69° by Sunday.
Today's highs should be very close to average. We should top out in the lower to middle 70s this afternoon with slightly cooler temperatures along the lakefront. The average high for today's date is 76°.
It will be a bit breezy with southwest winds today gusting to near 20 mph at times this afternoon. Our winds shift off the lake late Tuesday to set us up for a slightly cooler day on Wednesday.
The threat of rain remains low today and tomorrow but some spotty showers or sprinkles can't be ruled out mainly south of the city. The best chance for those would be along and south of I-80 this afternoon and again tomorrow afternoon.
The meteogram below considers several different model forecasts of temperatures. After a slight setback on Wednesday we continue to warm up through this upcoming weekend. 80s are back by Friday and we will be near 90° this weekend.
The GFS model brings in the 80s on Friday with the help of a southwest breeze. That will be the warmest day in a little over a week. Once this warmer air arrives it appears like it will stick around well into June. The longer range temperature forecasts keep unseasonably warm air coming for the next few weeks.
Meteorological summer begins tomorrow but it will feel like the middle of summer by this weekend. The temperature anomaly forecast has temperatures on Saturday around 10° to 15° above average. That means highs Saturday should be in the middle to upper 80s. Those are typical temperatures for the middle of July.
Bring On The Rain
Temperatures may be headed in the right direction but the lack of rainfall remains a problem.
Here is a recap of the drought situation that I shared in a recent post:
The latest analysis from the U.S. Drought Monitor showed virtually no change from last week. The area of the state in a moderate drought remains at 6.58%. There was also no change in the area in a severe drought. Nearly 3% of northern Illinois is in that category. That includes the north side of the city, northern DuPage & Cook counties, northeastern Kane county, all of Lake county and most of McHenry county. The percentage of the state that is abnormally dry dropped just .01%.
O'Hare is now down 2.56" of rain below average for May and 6.80" below average since March 1st.
The GFS model suggests the best chance of more widespread rain is late Wednesday and during the day Thursday. The pattern is fairly quiet this weekend. An isolated afternoon or evening shower or thunderstorm can't be ruled out Saturday or Sunday but most of the weekend should be dry. The model also hints at some scattered showers and thunderstorms late next Monday and again later next Tuesday into Wednesday.
The GFS model total rainfall forecast through Friday afternoon ranges from around a half inch to an inch. It will help but won't be enough to significantly put a dent in the drought.
Long Range Forecast Heats Up
The longer range temperature probability forecasts are showing a strong signal for a warmer than average period beginning this weekend and continuing through the following week. The 6-10 day forecast strongly favors us for above average temperatures overall from June 5th through June 9th with probabilities between 80% and 90%. The longer range 8-14 day forecast continues to favor the Chicago area for above average temperatures overall from June 7th through June 13th with probabilities between 70% and 80%.
The even longer range Subseasonal Experiment (SubX) temperature anomaly forecast is favoring the Chicago area for a warmer than average middle and later part of June. The average highs for this period are in the lower 80s. The temperature anomaly forecast for the week ending June 18th has us outlooked for above average temperatures overall. The forecast for the following week ending on June 25th also has Chicago outlooked for above average temperatures overall.
A Drier Long Range Forecast
The long range precipitation probability forecasts are bad news considering our drought situation. The latest 6-10 day forecast has Chicago favored for below average precipitation from June 5th through June 9th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast also has us favored for below average precipitation overall from June 7th through June 13th.
Here is my 7 day forecast:
Today: Partly to mostly cloudy, spotty shower south?, a bit breezy High: 73 (cooler lakeside)
Tuesday: Partly to mostly cloudy Low: 54 High: 77 ( 72 lakeside)
Wednesday: Mostly cloudy, sct. shower/t-storm possible Low: 58 High: 73 (65 lakeside)
Thursday: Partly to mostly cloudy, sct. shower possible Low: 58 High: 76 (cooler lakeside)
Friday: Mostly sunny Low: 60 High: 83 (cooler lakeside)
Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 64 High: 86
Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 67 High: 88