This Could Be The Hottest Weekend In Nearly A Year
It's Not Just Heat But High Humidity Too
Highs are expected to climb into the lower 90s this weekend. If the forecast verifies, it will not only be the hottest weekend of the year so far but the hottest since the end of last July. High heat will combine with high humidity to make for a steamy Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday will feel like the middle 90s to near 100°. The highest heat index values will be west of the city.
Sunday will be worse. For most of the us it will feel like 95° to 103°. This represents the highest heat index values we have see so far in 2021.
So even though we warm up today, it will feel like a cakewalk. After slipping into the middle 70s for highs on Wednesday we will warm up to the lower to middle 80s today. 15 of the past 21 days have been below average but this Thursday should be right around or a bit above average. A breeze off the lake will hold highs lakeside in the upper 70s.
More clouds than sun expected today. There could be a spotty shower but most of the day will be dry. You'll have to look through some smoke to see today's peeks of sunshine. The HRRR Model vertically integrated smoke forecast still has wildfire smoke drifting not just into the Midwest but all the way out to the east coast and on into the Atlantic. This smoke is originating from fires along the west coast and in Canada.
The National Blend Of Models has high heat and humidity sticking around from Saturday through the middle of next week. I think highs will be 90° or hotter for six straight days starting on Saturday. It would be the longest streak of 90s we have seen since late August last year.
The longer range temperature probability forecasts are hinting at a hotter than average end to July and start of August. There could be a few cooler than average days during this period but overall, we will probably end up above average. We aren't alone as most of the country is forecast to be warm too. The 6-10 day forecast has outlooked us for above average temperatures overall from July 27th through July 31st. The longer range 8-14 day forecast also favors us for above average temperatures overall from July 29th through August 4th. Average highs are in the lower to middle 80s for the end of July and start to August..
The even longer range Subseasonal Experiment (SubX) temperature anomaly forecasts hint a cooler pattern may be coming for the first half of August. The temperature anomaly forecast for the week ending August 6th has us outlooked below average temperatures overall. The forecast for the following week ending on August 13th keeps us cooler than average overall but not quite as cool as the first week of the month.
No Real Drought Relief In Sight
Some rain fell west of the city on Wednesday but nothing fell in the areas that need it most -north of the city. I'll have the updated drought analysis from the US Drought Monitor on Friday.
Here is my recap from last Friday's post:
The area of Illinois in a moderate drought (level 1 out of 4) has dropped slightly from 7.40% last week to 7.32% this week. The area of the state in a severe drought (level 2 out of 4) has increased slightly from 2.22% a week ago to 2.40% this week. The area experiencing an exceptional drought (level 3 out of 4) remains unchanged at .96". All in all, very little change in our drought status from last week.
The latest GFS model suggests a scattered shower or thunderstorm possible today and tomorrow with another chance late Saturday into early Sunday. There should be many dry hours this weekend and early next week as our heat wave rolls on.
The European model total rainfall forecast through the weekend only squeezes out about a tenth to two tenths of an inch of rain for most of us. So the drought will drag on in our northern suburbs. A bit more rain is possible in northern Indiana.
The long term precipitation probability forecasts aren't as discouraging for our drought stricken areas compared to previous forecast runs. They suggest we will be moving back to about average precipitation for the end of this month and the start of the next. The 6-10 day forecast has the Chicago area favored for below average precipitation overall from July 27th through July 31st. The longer range 8-14 day forecast also has us favored for below average precipitation overall from July 29th through August 4th. It probably won't have a significant impact on our drought but this year an average precipitation forecast is something to look forward to.
Here is my 7 day forecast:
Today: Partly to mostly cloudy, spotty shower possible High: 85 (78 lakeside)
Friday: Partly to mostly sunny, sct. showers/t-storms Low: 71 High: 89
Saturday: Partly to mostly cloudy, sct. showers/t-storms Low: 73 High: 92
Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 72 High: 93 (cooler lakeside)
Monday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 72 High: 91
Tuesday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 73 High: 90
Wednesday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 62 High: 91