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  • Tim McGill

The Calm After The Storms

Severe Storms Struck On Tuesday

It felt just like July Tuesday with a high of 88° at O'Hare and 90° at Midway. That heat fueled some severe storms yesterday afternoon. The National Weather Service had 74 local storm reports that included hail as big as 2 inches in diameter in Dixon and a wind gust to 68 mph in Bull Valley. The most serious severe report was of a possible tornado in Minooka. The National Weather Service will send a survey crew there today to confirm.

A September tornado is not unusual in Illinois. We average about one a month in September and October and even two a month in November. Tornado chasers refer to this time of the year as the "second season".

It is the calm after the storms today and a quiet pattern will continue right through this weekend.

It is also the cool after the storms or at least the "relatively cool". HRRR Model has our highs today in the middle to upper 70s. The average high for today's date is 78°.

Tomorrow morning may possibly be the coolest period of at least the next ten days. Lows should fall into the lower to middle 50s away from the city.

We are back to fall after our brief taste of summer Tuesday. Highs today and tomorrow will be in the middle to upper 70s. Dew points will be very pleasant as dry and cooler air from Canada spills south into the Midwest.

It will be breezy today with gusts to near 30 mph out of the west and northwest.

There is little to virtually not chance of rain for most of us the next few days. The are a couple exceptions. A few lake effect sprinkles or showers are possible tonight into early Thursday morning in northern Indiana. There could also be a spotty sprinkle near the Wisconsin state line this afternoon as a secondary push of cooler air sinks south into northern Illinois.

As the winds both at the surface and aloft shift to a more northwesterly direction we will see the wildfire smoke from western fires get pushed back south of Chicago. The HRRR Model vertically integrated smoke forecast shifts that smoke aloft well south of us today with the highest concentrations remaining over the Rockies and near the source of the fires further west.

Relatively cooler here for a couple of days but we warm back up this weekend. It will seem like summer again by Saturday.

The National Blend Of Models has our highs staying in the 70s through Friday and then bouncing back well into the 80s Saturday. They stay in the 80s through Tuesday.

The signal isn't as strong as it has been the pat few days but the longer range temperature probability forecasts favor us for above average temperatures overall for the middle of the month. Once again the vast majority of the country and most of the Midwest is outlooked for a warm pattern. The 6-10 day forecast has outlooked Chicago for above average temperatures overall from September 13th through September 17th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast favors us for above average temperatures overall from September 15th through September 21st. Average highs for this period are in the middle to upper 70s.

The Climate Forecast System or coupled forecast system (both names abbreviated CFS) is a medium to long range numerical weather prediction and a climate model run by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). The signal for the next 30 days isn't strong but it is indicating it will be warmer than average overall from now through the beginning of October.

Dry Pattern Develops Again

O'Hare only picked up a trace of rain Tuesday. We are running .11" of rain below average for the month so far. O'Hare is down nearly an inch below average since September 1st. Rain did fall in our drought stricken northern suburbs Tuesday but not enough to put a serious dent in the drought there. We are back to a dry pattern now that may last through the weekend.

Here is a recap from Monday's post with more on our drought status:

More mixed news from the latest analysis from the US Drought Monitor. The past two weeks of rainfall has been either feast or famine in northern Illinois. Much of the Lake and McHenry County saw between 10% to 50% of average rainfall in the past two weeks while the northwest corner of McHenry County picked up nearly 150% to 400% of average rainfall. Rainfall was also well above average from the city southward to Kankakee during the same period.

The US Drought Monitor analysis reports an increase in the area seeing a moderate drought compared to the previous analysis. The area in a moderate (level 1 out of 4 levels) drought in Illinois has jumped to 9.96% from 7.93%. The areas in a severe drought (level 2 out of four levels) did not change and remains at .79%.

The Midwest region's drought news though is much better. Every drought level saw a decrease in coverage area. The biggest drop was seen in the area in a severe drought (level 2 out of 4). It dropped from 18.95% in the previous analysis to 12.68% in the most recent.

The latest GFS model shows the next decent chance for rainfall will be late Monday into Tuesday next week. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected then.

The forecast for rainfall through this weekend from the GFS model doesn't offer much hope for help with the drought. Very little if any rain at all is expected through Sunday.

We fall from above average rainfall to near normal in the longer range precipitation probability forecasts. The latest 6-10 day forecast has the Chicago area favored for above average rainfall from September 13th through September 17th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast favors us for about average precipitation from September 15th through September 21st.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Sunny start then partly cloudy, breezy & mild High: 78

Thursday: Mostly sunny Low: 57 High: 76 (cooler lakeside)

Friday: Mostly sunny Low: 59 High: 80

Saturday: Mostly sunny Low: 64 High: 87

Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 67 High: 84 (cooler lakeside)

Monday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 65 High: 83 (cooler lakeside)

Tuesday: Partly to mostly sunny, sct. showers/t-storms Low: 63 High: 85


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