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  • Tim McGill

Sunscreen By Day, Light Jacket By Night

Low Dew Points Bring Delightful Weather

Today will be the coolest day in nearly two weeks. It will be both cooler and more comfortable in terms of humidity. The HRRR model holds highs today in the upper 70s for most areas. Highs may tag 80° well west of the city and only reach the upper 60s right along the lakefront. Average highs for today's date are around 81°.

Just a reminder to slap on some sunscreen. We will start off sunny and then see some puffy cumulus clouds pop up during the afternoon. The UV Index is at 9 for today. That is in the "very high" range.

The dew points continue to drop today. Dew points give meteorologists the best measurement of moisture in the air. They were near 70° on Saturday and fell into the 50s yesterday. Later today they could fall into the 40s and might even drop into the upper 30s tomorrow evening. This very dry air combined with lows in the 50s the next few nights will give a feel of fall to the air. There could even be a few spots well away from the city that fall into the upper 40s early Wednesday morning.

Northeast winds will carry in this cooler air and create some problems at the lakeshore. A beach hazards statement is in effect from 4 pm today until 7 am tomorrow for waves building up to 3 to 6 feet along with dangerous rip currents.

Wave heights will hit their high point late today and overnight. The southern shores of lake Michigan could see waves build to as big as six feet.

The north, northeast winds that blew most of Monday have carried cooler water to our beaches. Yesterday's water temperatures started out in the lower 70s but have now slipped into the lower to middle 60s.

The National Blend Of Models keeps O'Hare's highs in the 70s today and tomorrow but builds the heat back up for Thursday and Friday with highs of 90° or more. We should settle back to about average this weekend with highs in the lower 80s.

Friday Has Best Shot At Rain

There is some hope for more drought relief Thursday night and especially Friday. Even after a soaking for some of us on Saturday we still need a lot more rain. O'Hare is now down about a half inch below average for rainfall in June and down 8.46 inches since March 1st.

Here is a short recap of my drought update (before Saturday's rain) from last week:

The U.S. Drought Monitor says 8.52% of the state is in a moderate drought. That is an increase of 1.6% compared to last week's analysis. 20.89% of the state is considered "abnormally dry" which is an increase from 16.97% last week. "Abnormally dry" is just one level away from a moderate drought. The amount of Illinois in a severe drought remains unchanged at 4.58%.

The GFS model suggests the next good chance of rain comes Thursday night and into early Friday. Beyond that, there is a chance for more scattered showers and thunderstorms on Monday and Thursday next week.

The latest GFS model total rainfall forecast through Friday morning is squeezing out more rainfall compared to previous model runs. It suggests a range of around one to three inches of rain could fall with our northern suburbs (where the drought is in the severe category) picking up the highest amounts.

The long range precipitation probability forecasts also offers some substantial hope for more help with the drought. The latest 6-10 day forecast has us outlooked for above average precipitation overall from June 20th through June 24th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast also favors us for above average precipitation overall from June 22nd through June 29th.

Cooler Close To June?

The longer range temperature probability forecasts are both favoring us for cooler than average temperatures. The last time we have seen this was way back in winter. The 6-10 day forecast has outlooked us for below average temperatures overall from June 20th through June 24th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast also favors us for below average temperatures overall from June 22nd through June 28th. Average highs for late June are in the lower to middle 80s.

The even longer range Subseasonal Experiment (SubX) temperature anomaly forecast contradicts these forecasts a bit. It favors us for a warmer than average end to June and start to July. The average highs for this period are in the lower to middle 80s. The temperature anomaly forecast for the week ending July 2nd has us outlooked for above average temperatures overall. The forecast for the following week ending on July 9th also has Chicago outlooked for above average temperatures overall too.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Sunny start then partly cloudy, becoming breezy High: 79 (68 lakeside)

Wednesday: Mostly sunny Low: 57 High: 78 (69 lakeside)

Thursday: Mostly sunny Low: 59 High: 89

Friday: Partly/mostly cloudy, sct. showers/t-storms Low: 70 High: 90

Saturday: Mostly sunny Low: 66 High: 82 (cooler lakeside)

Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny, sct. shower/t-storm late? Low: 61 High: 84 (cooler lakeside)

Monday: Partly/mostly cloudy, sct. showers/t-storms Low: 66 High: 81



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