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  • Tim McGill

Taste Of Summer In Six Days

More Sun But Still Cool Today

This month started off very mild. Ten of the first thirteen days were above average. We had a couple of days that felt just like July with highs in the 80s. A much cooler pattern kicked in about half way through April. Seven of the last eight days have been below average. Tuesday felt more like February than April.

A recovery is right around the corner. We could hit 80° within six days. Today should be a bit warmer than yesterday when we struggled to hit 50°. Highs should reach well into the 50s to near 60°. A brisk west breeze may make it feel a bit cooler though.

Today's brisk westerly breeze will be replaced by a fairly strong southwesterly breeze on Friday. Look for gusts today and tomorrow near 25 mph.

"Summer" Right Around The Corner

The hourly temperature meteogram compares many different forecast models. We will stay below the average high of 62° through the weekend but we warm up quickly next week. Highs will soar into the 70s by Monday and possibly tag 80° or more on Tuesday. So in just six days it will feel just like July again.

The GFS model shows southwesterly winds Tuesday sweeping up warmer air from the south. Highs should be at least well into the 70s with some spots in the city and southward hitting 80° or more.

The temperature anomaly forecast might be the best way to visualize this sudden surge of unseasonable warmth. It shows temperatures here Tuesday afternoon around 15° to 20° above average. Chicago and surrounding areas will have the biggest departures above average compared to any other part of the country.

Happy Earth Day!

Earth day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. It is also the largest civic observance in the world with more than a billion people from nearly 200 countries participating. It is a day designed to bring awareness to the state of our planet's environment. It is a good time to reflect on where earth's climate is and where it is going.

Earth has a fever. A recent study of 246 cities shows nearly two-thirds of them have warmed by more than 2° and nearly a third have warmed by more than 3° since the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970.

Chicago has warmed by 1.6° since the first Earth day.

A new report by the Nature Conservancy has more detail on the impacts of climate change in Illinois. Over the past century, our state's number of days with at least 2 inches of rain has increased by 40%. During that same period, nighttime temperatures have warmed about 2° or three times the rate of daytime warming. By the middle of this century, the report says Illinois could experience between 8 to 40 additional very hot days (95° or warmer), depending on the level of greenhouse gas emissions that occur.

Climate Central's recent study says on average, the U.S. has warmed by 2.4°. Of the 246 locations they studied, almost every location (98%) reported a rise in year temperature. Most of the locations that had the top ten largest increases are found in the Southwest.

So Long Snow

The GFS model suggests plain old rain here for later Friday into early Saturday. The middle of next week could be wet with periods of showers and thunderstorms Wednesday through early Friday.

We could use some rain here. We are running 1.69" below average on rainfall for the month and down almost three inches from average since March 1st. The GFS model precipitation forecast through Sunday morning spits out as little as a tenth of an inch of rain north of the city to over an inch south of Chicago in total.

Mild Overall Through End Of The Month

The longer range temperature probability forecasts have us favored for a milder than average end of April and then back to about average for the start of May. The latest 6-10 day forecast has us outlooked for above average temperatures overall from April 27th through May 1st. The 8-14 day temperature probability forecast has us favored for about average temperatures overall from April 29th through May 5th. Average highs in Chicago for late April into early May are in the lower to middle 60s.

The even longer range Subseasonal Experiment (SubX) temperature anomaly forecast is signaling a cooler than average pattern for the first couple weeks of May. The temperature anomaly forecast for the week ending May 7th has us outlooked to be a around or a bit below average overall. The forecast for the following week ending on May 14th has Chicago below average overall. Average highs for this period are in the middle to upper 60s.

Precip Pattern Becoming Drier

The long range precipitation probability forecasts move us from a more active pattern to a near normal precipitation amounts. The latest 6-10 day forecast still has Chicago favored for above average precipitation from April 27th through May 1st. The longer range 8-14 day forecast has us favored slightly for about average precipitation overall from April 29th through May 5th.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Partly to mostly sunny, becoming breezy High: 58

Friday: Partly to mostly cloudy, sct. showers possible mainly late, breezy Low: 40 High: 58

Saturday: Rain early, mostly cloudy, spotty pm showers Low: 43 High: 57 (cooler lakeside)

Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 38 High: 54 (cooler lakeside)

Monday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 41 High: 72 (cooler lakeside)

Tuesday: Partly to mostly cloudy Low: 58 High: 81

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy, sct. showers & thunderstorms Low: 60 High: 72



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