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  • Tim McGill

Winter Back On Hold This Week

Quiet Pattern For Now

Our relatively wimpy winter will continue this week without a big storm or any Arctic air in sight. We've seen a bit of a more active pattern lately with four of the last eight days seeing snowfall. There has been 4.5" of snow so far this winter which is less than half of normal to date. On average through January 4th we should have 9.2".

It hasn't been too terribly cold either. December had only 5 days with below average temperatures. The month was 5.1° above average overall. The forecast is calling for above average days all the way through the weekend.

The Accumulated Winter Season Severity Index or AWSSI keeps track of the relative severity of our winter so far. It is firmly in the "mild" category. That is the least miserable of all the categories.

It will be cloudy and seasonably cold on this Monday with patchy fog. Look for highs around average topping out in the lower 30s.

A weak system will pass through tonight bringing the chance for some light snow. The GFS model's precipitation meteogram for O'Hare is not impressed with our chances for any accumulation. The next sticking snow it suggests wouldn't fall until next Monday into Tuesday.

A few models are spitting out a little snow tonight. The range is generally between a dusting to a third of an inch. The timing on this snow would be between 7 pm and just after midnight.

Slim Pickings For Snowfall Prospects

The GFS model yesterday was painting in a few tenths of an inch of snow for the area for tonight but the latest run doesn't show any accumulating snow through Tuesday morning.

The NAM model squeezes out a dusting for a few areas mainly south and west of the city.

Looking Long Range At Snowfall

Extending the snowfall forecast through the weekend doesn't yield much additional snow. The European model has a grand total of .1" of total accumulation from today through Sunday.

The GFS model is a little more hopeful for some snow. It suggests a bit more than a half inch in our north and northwestern suburbs but just a tenth or two in the city and southward during the period.

Staying Relatively Mild

The longer range temperature probabilities forecasts still have us outlooked for above average temperatures overall but the signal isn't strong. The long range models continue to favor us for above average temperatures into the middle of January. The 6-10 day temperature probability forecast has the Midwest and the northern tier of the country outlooked for average temperatures overall from January 9th through January 13th. Chicago is in the lower end of the probabilities. Similar pattern for the longer range 8-14 day forecast. It continues to favor us for above average temperatures overall during the period from January 11th through January 17th too but with the lowest range of probability. It does have an expanding area favored for a mild pattern compared to the 6-10 day outlook with increasing probabilities. We'll have to see if that continues to expand towards us in future forecasts.

Relatively Dry Middle Of The Month?

The longer range precipitation probabilities forecasts has us outlooked for a dry pattern during the middle of this month. The 6-10 day forecast from January 9th through January 13th has us outlooked for below average precipitation. The 8-14 day forecast from January 11th through the 17th also has us outlooked for below average precipitation overall too.

Looking Even Longer Range

The experimental multi-model ensemble temperature probability forecast keeps the relatively mild pattern coming through the end of the month. Not only is the Midwest favored for above average temperatures overall from January 16th through the 29th but most of the country is outlooked to be above average (lower left image). Not much of a signal regarding the precipitation outlook for the same period (lower right image). The forecast calls for equal chances of being above or below average with precipitation.

Here is my 7 day forecast:

Today: Cloudy, patchy fog (dusting of light snow possible tonight) High: 34

Tuesday: Partly to mostly cloudy Low: 26 High: 37

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy Low: 25 High: 38

Thursday: Mostly cloudy Low: 30 High: 37

Friday: Mostly cloudy Low: 28 High: 36

Saturday: Mostly cloudy Low: 26 High: 36

Sunday: Mostly cloudy Low: 25 High: 35



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