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  • Tim McGill

Wet Weather For A Change

80s Were Nice While They Lasted

It has seemed more like summer than spring this week. We enjoyed back to back 80s Wednesday and Thursday. This was the first two days in a row with 80s since early September last year. It has been nearly seven months since the last time we were that warm. April is now running nearly 12° above average!

A cooler pattern kicks in today and there are no 80s or even 70s in sight through the next ten days. The good news though is that despite cooling off we will still be above average at least through Monday.

Clouds, showers and possibly a few thunderstorms will keep us almost 20° cooler than yesterday. Look for highs today in the lower to middle 60s. Average highs for today are around 56°.

The wind will be the one consistent thing we see the next couple of days. We've had windy conditions the past few days and gusty winds will continue through Friday. Gusts today and tomorrow will approach 30 mph. Today's gusts will be slightly less than yesterday's when some spots had gusts to 40 mph.

Most of today's rain will fall in the form of showers but there is at least a slight chance for some rumbles of thunder through this evening.

It's About Time

We have only seen a trace of rain in total for the past 13 days and only 1.25" since March 1st. The GFS model shows the best chances for rain will be today and early tonight. Friday's showers should be more scattered with lighter rainfall expected. Another round of rain could come later Saturday into Saturday night. The GFS model is keeping most of that south of the city for now. Much of next week should be dry with the exception of some rain late Monday.

The GFS model squeezes out a total of between around an inch and a half of rain from today through the weekend. This will be much needed rainfall since we are now down just under two inches of rain below normal since the start of March.

So Long 70s & 80s

The hourly temperature meteogram compares many different forecast models. Most of the models have highs falling into the lower to middle 60s today and some suggest we may fail to get out of the 50s by the middle of next week.

The GFS model's temperature anomaly forecast has a big blob of blue next Tuesday stretching from the plains through the Midwest. Our temperatures Tuesday afternoon will be up to 5° below average. That means Tuesday's highs will be nearly 30° colder than yesterday's highs.

Consistent Cooler Pattern Signal

We have started off April at a torrid temperature pace. We have had five days in a row with highs at least in the 70s. The longer range forecasts are hinting strongly at a cooler pattern though coming for the middle of the month. The latest 6-10 day temperature probability forecast has us outlooked for below average temperatures overall from April 13th through April 17th. The 8-14 day temperature probability forecast has us favored for below average temperatures overall from April 15th through April 21st too with even higher probabilities. Average highs in Chicago move from the upper 50s to near 60° during this period.

The even longer range Subseasonal Experiment (SubX) forecast is signaling a warmer than average end to April. The temperature anomaly forecast for the week ending April 23rd has us outlooked to be above average for the period. The forecast for the following week ending on April 23rd has us outlooked to stay above average overall. Average highs for the end of April are in the middle 60s.

Stronger Signal For Drier Pattern

The longer range precipitation probability forecasts once again is signaling a drier pattern developing for the middle of the month and beyond. The latest 6-10 day forecast has Chicago favored for below average precipitation from April 13th through April 17th. The longer range 8-14 day forecast has us outlooked for below average precipitation overall from April 15th through April 21st too. The risk for spring flooding is above average for many area rivers. More on that below.

Spring Flood Risk Forecast

The National Weather Service considers many risk factors for spring flooding. They include snow cover, soil moisture, and current river conditions.

"A significant snow cover with high water content can increase the chances of flooding once warmer weather melts the snow. Elevated soil moisture conditions reduce the amount of rainfall that is soaked up by the ground and increase the amount of water that then runs off into area streams. Above average river levels reduce the river rise required to reach flood stage, while below average river levels would require an increased amount of river rise to reach flood stage."

The map shows the locations where there is a greater than 50% chance of moderate or minor flooding during March through May 2021.

Their latest forecast suggests the flood risk is above average for many of our area rivers. The Des Plaines and Fox rivers in particular need to be watched closely.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Cloudy, on & off showers (isolated t-storm possible), breezy High: 64

Friday: Mostly cloudy, scattered showers, breezy Low: 49 High: 63

Saturday: Mostly cloudy, sct. showers possible mainly late Low: 47 High: 62 (cooler lakeside)

Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 46 High: 61

Monday: Partly to mostly cloudy, showers possible late Low: 45 High: 63 (cooler lakeside)

Tuesday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 40 High: 56

Wednesday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 38 High: 55



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