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  • Tim McGill

Weather Whiplash & Waterspouts

Today's temperatures will be the coolest we've seen in nearly seven weeks. The last time highs were in the lower 70s was on June 15th. Since then there has only been one day below average. Nearly 40% of days in July had highs of 90° or hotter. That helped July finish as the 4th warmest on record. So the combination of cooler temperatures today and a fairly strong northeast breezed might come as a bit of a shock. I sometimes refer to this as "weather whiplash" or a sudden, dramatic shift in our weather pattern. For some it will be a welcome change from the high heat and humidity we have seen so often this summer.

Highs today will be in the lower 70s. That is more than 10° below average.

It will really feel like fall come Wednesday morning. Lows for most areas will be in the middle to upper 50s but it isn't out of the question to see a few upper 40s well southwest of the city. Enjoy it if you like your summers cool because heat and humidity will build back to near July levels by the weekend.

The best chance of rain this week will be today with about 40% coverage of scattered showers. The rest of the week looks mainly dry with an isolated shower or thunderstorm possible Friday and Saturday then better chances for some scattered showers and thunderstorms later Sunday into Monday and again the following Wednesday.

The brisk northeast breeze will gust at times over 30 mph. Those winds will ship up waves up to 9 feet along the southern Lake Michigan shoreline. A lakeshore flood advisory is in effect until 4 pm Tuesday. There could be flooding along the Chicago bike path and some beach erosion. The high water levels will exacerbate the problem. Another concern are the strong rip currents that will result from the gusty winds. A beach hazard statement is in effect until through Wednesday morning for dangerous swimming conditions.

The National Weather Service warns of significant impacts:

The large waves and strong currents will result in life-threatening conditions for anyone who ventures into the lake. With record high lake levels, inundation of portions of the lake shore is probable, including along sections of the Chicago bike path. In addition, beach erosion caused by the record high lake levels will likely be exacerbated.

A small area of low pressure developing on the southern end of Lake Michigan combined with some wind shear and an unstable atmosphere with rather cool temperatures aloft could help to spin up a few waterspouts today.

Previous model runs had been hinting at a cooler than average period for the middle of August. The latest 6-10 and 8-14 day temperature probability forecasts though now show Chicago and the midwest outlooked for above average temperatures overall from August 8th through the 16th.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Lakeshore Flood Advisory Until 4 PM Tuesday

Beach Hazards Statement Until 7 Am Wednesday

Today: Mostly cloudy, scattered showers, breezy & cooler High: 73

Tuesday: Partly to mostly sunny, spotty shower possible Low: 58 High: 73

Wednesday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 56 High: 78 (73 Lakefront)

Thursday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 59 High: 80

Friday: Partly cloudy, isolated shower/t-storm possible Low: 62 High: 83

Saturday: Partly to mostly cloudy, isolated shower/t-storm possible Low: 67 High: 84

Sunday: Partly cloudy, pm sct. showers/t-storms Low: 69 High: 86



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