Weekend Snow Then Warm Up
Break From Cold Is Coming
We started out our Saturday with another round of bitter cold temperatures. Lows dipped well below zero in outlying areas. Aurora was the coldest spot as it plummeted to -14°. Rockford dipped to -5° and West Chicago bottomed out at -6°.
Here's hoping this is the last day with subzero temperatures until next winter. A warm up begins this weekend and continues through the middle of next week. There will no doubt be more colder than average days to come in the next several weeks but it will be harder to dip back below zero. Subzero lows are very rare after the first week of March. If we dip below zero after March 22nd it would be a record low.
We certainly could use a break from the cold. Today will be the 16th straight day with below average temperatures. This is by far the longest streak of the winter. February is now running nearly 13° below average. Today's highs should be about 10° below average. Look for highs in the middle 20s.
The hourly temperature meteogram for O'Hare shows our temperatures recovering rapidly from subzero lows for some of us this morning to flirting with 40° by at least Tuesday.
The temperature anomaly forecast has temperatures by Wednesday nearly 10° above average. No signs of any bitter cold Artic air in the country by then. The Rockies and the Pacific Northwest will be around 4° to 14° below average. That is certainly cold but not nearly as bad as what most of the country has experienced over the past several days.
Sunday's Snowfall Numbers
Our active pattern could continue into most of next week although the systems should be weakening by then. We have seen snow fourteen of nineteen days so far this February for a total of just over 20". We have seen 45.1" of snow so far this winter with is nearly 20" above average.
The latest GFS model's meteogram shows several shots at snow over the next ten days. The more significant snow arrives mainly late Sunday. Some of the snow could mix with rain along and south of I-80. The other chances for lighter snow would be later Wednesday, Thursday and then next Saturday.
The accumulated snowfall meteogram for O'Hare shows the range of snowfall predictions from several models. Most models suggest about an inch to three inches for Sunday's system. Most models squeeze out about a half inch to 1.5" for Wednesday with on outlier suggesting 3.5". Thursday's system would be the weakest with perhaps a half inch to an inch of new snow.
The NAM model total snowfall accumulation through Monday morning spits out around a half inch to nearly two inches. The snowfall amounts taper off from northwest to southeast with the lightest amounts over our far southern suburbs and northern Indiana.
The GFS model total snowfall accumulation through Monday morning spits out around one inch to nearly three inches. It also tapers the snow from northwest to southeast.
The European model seems to split the difference between the other two models. It sugges about an inch or two of new snow coming on Sunday.
About Average For A Change?
The longer range temperature probability forecasts suggest we will be near normal for the end of February through the start of March. Ironically, near normal hasn't been that normal this winter. We started off with December 5.1° above average. January was a bit warmer coming in at 5.4° above average. February is now running nearly 13° below average. The latest 6-10 day temperature probability forecast has the Chicago area outlooked for around average temperatures overall from February 25th through March 1st. The longer range 8-14 day forecast continues to keep us outlooked for about average temperatures overall from February 27th through March 5th too.
Active Storm Pattern May Continue
The long range precipitation probability forecasts again suggest an active pattern for the end of February through the start of March. The 6-10 day forecast favors us above average precipitation overall from February 25th through February March 1st. The longer range 8-14 day forecast has us outlooked for above average precipitation overall from February 27th through March 5th too. Average high temperatures will be climbing into the lower 40s for these periods and the long range temperature forecasts discussed above keep us overall around average so much of this precipitation could be coming in the form of rain.
Here is my 7 day forecast:
Today: Partly to mostly sunny High: 26
Sunday: Cloudy, light to moderate snow mainly late, breezy Low: 19 High: 35
Monday: Partly to mostly cloudy Low: 25 High: 37
Tuesday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 31 High: 42
Wednesday: Mostly cloudy, chance of light rain/snow Low: 32 High: 38
Thursday: Partly to mostly cloudy, chance of light snow Low: 23 High: 32
Friday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 18 High: 32