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  • Tim McGill

Whopper Of A Storm Brings Windy & Wet Weather

Cool & Blustery Beginning To The Week

1.85" of rain fell at O'Hare on Sunday to set a record for the date. It tied as the third biggest daily rainfall total so far this year. Some spots south of the city picked up more than four inches of rain. The soaking rain on Sunday has no doubt put a huge dent in our drought.

The rain will taper off from west to east across the area today but at least spotty showers and sprinkles could linger for a few of us through tonight near the lake. Sunshine broke through early this afternoon north and northwest of Chicago. Not only will it be wet at times today (mainly south) but it will also be windy. Gusts will exceed 40 mph.

Sunday's high of just 51° was the coolest in almost five months. Today won't be much warmer. Average highs for today's date are around 59°. The GFS Model has our highs reaching the lower 50s. Temperatures will be in the 40s for much of this Monday northwest of the city.

Gusty winds will make it feel even colder. Those winds have prompted a lakeshore flood advisory for counties adjacent to Lake Michigan (counties shaded in green below) until 7 pm tonight. A wind advisory continues (counties shaded in brown below) until 3 pm for most of the area too.

Our relatively cool pattern continues tomorrow although not quite as cool. The GFS Model has our highs on Tuesday in the middle to upper 50s.

The strongest winds will occur today through early this afternoon. Gusts could exceed 40 mph at times. Rain chances diminish dramatically as the day progresses.

A gusty wind off the lake means some lake effect showers could continue near the lakeshore through early tonight.

The gusty winds off the lake will whip up some "large and battering" waves today. The biggest waves could build up to 12 feet to 16 feet high. That means some shoreline erosion and dangerous conditions at the lakefront.

Cooler Air Could Stick Around

Hard to believe a week ago today we made it into the 70s. We can not only say so long to those 70s for now but we not even see any 60s either for the next at least couple of weeks. The National Blend Of Models has our highs holding in the 50s for the next eleven straight days.

It's been several weeks since we have seen a long range temperature outlook calling for a cooler pattern. The latest outlooks trend us from near normal temperatures to below normal overall. The 6-10 day outlook has us favored for about average temperatures overall from October 30th through November 3rd. The longer range 8-14 day forecast favors us for below average temperatures from November 1st through November 7h. Average highs for this period are in the middle to upper 50s.

The longer term 35 day temperature anomaly forecast has us near or just above normal overall from now through most of November. We are outlooked to be around average to about 1° to 2° above average overall for the period from October 23rd through November 27th. 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.

Another Round Of Lighter Rain Coming

O'Hare is now running 1.32" above average for October rainfall after Sunday's soaking. The deficit going back to the start of fall on September 1st has almost been entirely erased. Since the start of September O'Hare is down .64" of rain below average.

This latest rain that winds down today combined with more rain later this week will have an impact on our drought. I'll discuss that when all the latest drought numbers are in on Friday.

The most recent US Drought Monitor analysis was released Thursday. It was the second report in a row to bring mostly good news for Illinois. Here is a recap:

The area in at least a moderate drought (level 1 our of 4) dropped dropped slightly compared to the previous analysis. The area in an at least severe drought (level 2 out of 4) did not change. The only big of discouraging news is the area consider "abnormally dry" jumped by almost 25%. That is the area most likely to slip into at least a moderate drought if conditions don't improve.

It's hard to see much change when looking at the side by side comparison of this week's Illinois drought map next to last week's. The only thing that stands out is the growing area of yellow or "abnormally dry" conditions.

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 Midwest receive more good news. Every drought category saw a reduction in area. The biggest drop was for portion of the region in an extreme drought. It was reduced by more than half compared to the last analysis.

Doppler radar's total rainfall estimate through this morning shows a range of rainfall across the area. The lighter amounts were north of the city but still more than an inch of rain came down there. Around two inches fell in the city itself with more than four inches south of the city.

The GFS model's meteogram for O'Hare shows another round of rain coming late Thursday into Friday. This next round won't be nearly as heavy but could still be significant.

The GFS model's total precipitation forecast through through next weekend. It shows most areas could pick up another inch or two of rain. Keep in mind this includes some of today's rainfall too so the actual rainfall coming Thursday into Friday will be less. Most models suggest an inch or less could be coming later this week.

The pattern may be more active in the short term but the longer range precipitation outlooks suggest a more dry pattern for the end of this month and start of November. The latest 6-10 day forecast has the Chicago area favored for below average rainfall from October 30th through November 3rd. The longer range 8-14 day forecast has us outlooked for below average precipitation too for the period from November 1st through November 7th.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Showers tapering off, cool & windy (gusts to 45 mph) High: 53

Tuesday: Spotty shower possible early, partly to mostly sunny Low: 43 High: 57

Wednesday: Partly to mostly cloudy Low: 42 High: 59

Thursday: Mostly cloudy, on & off showers Low: 49 High: 57

Friday: Mostly cloudy, on & off showers Low: 51 High: 58

Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 48 High: 58

Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny Low: 45 High: 57


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