WGN SPECIAL COVERAGE: SUV drives into Woodfield Mall

Potentially heavy rains to arrive in Chicago Friday, thanks in part to Hurricane Rosa

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CHICAGO — We have fairly healthy rains including some thunderstorms on the way that will arrive in Chicago Friday into Friday night.

Model estimates on potential rainfall range widely from 0.25″ to as much as 2.48″, with the latest average among the 22 members of the Weather Service’s SREF (Short Range Ensemble model) model centered on O’Hare at 1.11″.

Here’s the Storm Prediction Center’s SREF ensemble model maximum 24 hour precipitation forecast through 1am Sunday morning.

There’s a tropical connection with the system behind these downpours and it involves remnant energy from Pacific Hurricane Rosa, whose rains have broken records in recent days in the desert Southwest.

You can see that energy as a jet stream speed max over Colorado, which combines with a generous injection of Gulf moisture to set the stage for Chicago’s upcoming downpours.

Estimated total rainfall through the weekend (through 1am Monday morning) according to WPC. Graphic courtesy of WeatherBell Analytics

Friday into Friday night may well be quite wet at times here in Chicago, with rains likely to arrive in “waves” or “clusters”. Model measurable rain probabilities are 76 percent Friday and 72 percent Friday night. Beneath the wet disturbance’s northern flank, there’s even sticking snow predicted with this system over the northern plains and sections of the Upper Midwest! Winter weather advisories are out in North Dakota and sections of Wyoming and Montana.

For a little history on the origins of the incoming rains, check out this satellite-sensed precipitable water animation of Rosa put together by Scott Bachmeier of CIMSS at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which tracks Rosa as it spins up off the Mexican coast, then sweeps northward into the Southwest U.S., where it has produced flooding and record October rains the past few days.

Scott Bachmeier, CIMSS at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Some of Rosa’s remnant energy at jet stream level, joined by an incoming supply of tropical moisture off the Gulf of Mexico, will contribute to rains headed for Chicago tomorrow into Saturday.

The Chicago area and surrounding areas of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin are outlooked for potentially excessive rainfall by the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center (WPC) at NOAA’s National Center for Weather and Climate Prediction in Maryland.

The NWS Weather Prediction Center’s excessive rainfall risk Friday and Friday night.

You can find even more details on this post on Tom Skilling’s Facebook Page.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.