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  • Tim McGill

Ugly Friday Followed By Better Weekend Then Chilly Start To November

Cool Wind Driven Rain

It's been one of the wettest weeks of the year. O'Hare has reported just over three inches of rain in the past five days and that doesn't even include today's rain. That means we have seen nearly 90% of the average rainfall for November in under a week.

Clouds, more rain and a gusty wind off the lake means another nasty day. Showers will continue on and off into tonight before tapering off early Saturday. We will see some spotty lake effect sprinkles and showers tomorrow morning but most of us should stay dry on Saturday.

Average highs for today's date are around 57°. The GFS Model has our highs today near or just below normal in the middle 50s.

There will be some peeks of sun on Saturday. The GFS Model has us warming up just a few degrees tomorrow. It suggests Saturday's highs will reach into the upper 50s to near 60°.

Overall, the weather on Halloween should be more of a treat than a trick. Mostly sunny skies are expected Sunday with highs in the middle to upper 50s. We'll fall into the upper 40s to near 50° during the evening.

The coldest air of the season so far invades next week. Highs may fail to get out of the 40s all week long. The GFS temperature anomaly forecast for Wednesday has our temperatures between 4° to 7° below average. Average highs for that date are around 54° so that translates into highs in the middle to upper 40s.

At least the GFS Model has taken the snow out of the forecast (for now). It had been hinting at a few flakes Monday night into early Tuesday.

Today we are dealing with a cool rain. Highs climb from the middle 50s today and then to the upper 50s on Saturday. Notice the threat of rain dropping dramatically by early Saturday morning.

Winds will gust over 30 mph through tonight. They then shift late Saturday into Sunday as a cold front comes through. This first front will be weak but a stronger one follows Sunday night into early Monday that will usher in the coldest air of fall so far.

The gusty winds off Lake Michigan today have prompted a lakeshore flood advisory through 7 AM Saturday. The counties shaded in green are under that advisory.

Gusty winds will whip up waves that could build between 8 to 12 feet. That means shoreline erosion, lakeshore flooding and dangerous conditions near the lakefront. Flooding is likely along portions of the Chicago bike path and is possible for some low-lying roads too.

Chilly Start To November

The National Blend Of Models has our highs near normal through the weekend but highs falling into the 40s for most of next week. Lows will dip into at least the lower 30s by the middle of next week. This will be the coldest air we have seen in about six months.

The signal for a cool pattern for the first part of November is still fairly strong. The 6-10 day outlook has us favored for below average temperatures overall from November 3rd through November 7th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast also favors us for below average temperatures from November 5th through November 11th but the probability falls a bit. Average highs for this period are in the lower to middle 50s.

The even longer term 35 day temperature anomaly forecast has us near normal overall for the period from the end of October through all of November for most of the area. Notice the light blue color encircling us in this forecast. It represents temperatures a degree or two below average for the period. That blue has slipped south into our far northwestern suburbs which could be just a bit below average overall. This forecast covers the period from October 27th through December 1st. The Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS) is a weather forecast model made up of 21 separate forecasts, or ensemble members The model tries to give an idea of the amount of uncertainty in a forecast by running an ensemble of multiple forecasts which are each tweaked a bit with their initial conditions.

Drying Out After Wet End To The Week

O'Hare has seen over 5 inches of rain so far this month. We now have a surplus of 2.08" of rain above average. The deficit since the start of fall on September 1st has been totally erased. O'Hare has picked up 6.43" of rain so far this fall which is .12" above average.

The most recent US Drought Monitor analysis was released Thursday. It was the third report in a row to bring good news for Illinois. It does not include yesterday or today's rainfall but does include last Sunday and Monday's heavy rain.

The area considered in either a moderate or severe drought diminished at least slightly. Unlike the previous analysis, this most recent one shows even the area considered "abnormally dry" dropped in coverage.

Here is a summary of the impacts the ongoing drought is having on northern Illinois from the National Weather Service:

Volunteer observers across far northern Illinois indicate much lower then typical stream flows on area creeks and rivers, particularly along Beaver Creek and the Kishwaukee River.

Reports also indicate that lawns have gone dormant and there has been some stress to the trees. Few impacts to agriculture have been received recently, though the dry conditions and stressed crops have resulted in an early start to the harvest season across northern Illinois. Data available from the Illinois State Water Survey, USGS, and NCEP indicate that soil moisture, groundwater, and surface water levels remain below normal.

The news for the Midwest region was good almost across the board. The area in either a moderate or severe drought decreased slightly. The 1.20% of the area in an extreme drought did not change from the last report.

The soaking we received last Sunday into Monday has left most of the area with a healthy surplus of rain compared to average. Most of the Chicago area has received between 150% to 300% of average rainfall for October so far with a few spots even seeing up to 300% to 400% of average.

The GFS model's total precipitation forecast through Saturday morning squeezes out an additional quarter to three quarters of an inch of rain. The amounts get heavier closer to the lakefront because of expected lake effect showers lingering there through early Saturday morning. The model keeps us dry Saturday afternoon through next Friday.

The longer range precipitation forecasts keep us relatively dry through nearly the middle of next month. The latest 6-10 day forecast has the Chicago area favored for below average rainfall from November 3rd through November 7th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast has us outlooked for below average precipitation too for the period from November 5th through November 11th.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Cloudy, on & off showers, windy (gusts to 35 mph) High: 57

Saturday: A.M. spotty showers, partly to mostly cloudy, breezy Low: 51 High: 58

Sunday: Mostly sunny Low: 45 High: 57

Monday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 36 High: 49

Tuesday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 33 High: 47

Wednesday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 32 High: 46

Thursday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 31 High: 47


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