CHICAGO — Sunshine emerged after the morning snow showers as expected and we’re on our way to another night with favorable viewing conditions for the 5 planet line-up which is of interest to skywatchers. Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Uranus and Mars line up near the moon tonight and cloud coverage (the % of the sky cloud covered) is predicted as follows over Chicago: 7pm CDT 4%; 1am CDT Thu 3% and 7am CDT Thu 29%.
THE WEATHER LOOKS GOOD FOR THE CUBS HOME OPENER THURSDAY AT WRIGLEY FIELD—thought a southeast winds will be blowing into the ball park off Lake Michigan. This means that while temps warm to the mid 50s inland; only mid 40s are likely for Thursday’s game at Wrigley. Sunshine will plentiful Thursday though clouds will be on the increase in the afternoon and an overcast is likely to be in place after the game at sunset Thursday.
SEVERE WEATHER CONCERNS REMAIN ELEVATED ACROSS A WIDE SWATH OF THE MIDWEST, INCLUDING CHICAGO, FRIDAY INTO FRIDAY EVENING. The Storm Prediction Center indicates a level 3 to 4 risk on the 5 level scale—which is an elevated level of risk
THE INCOMING STORM is the latest ATMOSPHERIC RIVER SYSTEM to cross Californian—the 13th since Dec. 22. It’s emergence into the Plains will set up a powerful wind regime which pumps warm, moist air north from the Gulf of Mexico—a set-up likely to deliver Chicago its warmest daytime temp to date in 2023—likely 68-degrees. This plus a surge in dew points—a measure of atmospheric moisture—to within striking distance of 60-deg for the first time this year and the first time in the more than 5 months since Oct 11, sets up warmth and buoyancy of the air, a key ingredient for t-storm development Friday.
A powerhouse 165 mph jet stream level speed max working its way across Missouri above a 50+ mph SSW wind delivering warm moist Gulf air sets the stage for rotating super cellular t-storms capable of spinning up tornadoes and mixing powerhouse wind gusts down to the surface in the afternoon and evening. Current modeling puts t-storm probabilities above 70% Friday afternoon and evening—though shower clusters are likely to circulate into the area during the day and into Friday night.
The SPRING STORM’S BACKSIDE WIND CIRCULATION threatens 50+ mph NON-STORM GUSTS Saturday which are to circulate colder air into the area
BEYOND THE LATE WEEK STORM, models continue to advertise a very active weather pattern with powerful storms likely to traverse the Midwest in 3 to 4 day intervals in the week and a half which follows. While much cooler weather sweeps in after Friday’s 60s, additional 60s are on the way next week—most likely Tuesday into Wednesday—and still another set of potential 60s the follow Tue and Wed based on current computer projections.
HERE’S MY LATEST WEDNESDAY CHICAGO METRO FORECAST (3/29/2023)
TONIGHT: Mainly clear and cold. Low 28—but low 20s coldest inland locations well away from the city and lake.
THURSDAY: Opens with generous sun—but increasing cloudiness. Milder in the afternoon—but southeast winds off Lake Michigan will cool nearshore locations including Wrigley Field. High 55 inland—but only low to mid 40s lakeshore.
THURSDAY NIGHT: Clouding over, strengthening winds and milder temps. Growing prospects for showers impacting as much as 70% of the area late. Low 53—but readings may actually rise a bit by morning.
FRIDAY: A SEVERE WEATHER THREAT in the afternoon and evening—BUT ALSO 2023’s WARMEST DAY YET. Cloudy, windy and warmer with waves of showers becoming thundery in the afternoon and evening when some heavy or severe storms threaten. High 68—a reading 15-deg above normal. Gusts build to 30 to 35 mph—but potentially stronger in storms.
FRIDAY NIGHT: Showers and t-storms. Windy and turning cooler by morning. Low 39.
SATURDAY: Cloudy and very windy. Gusts of 50 mph—possibly higher at times. Sporadic rain and possible mixed snow showers ending. Clearing begins later in the day. High 43.
SUNDAY: Partly sunny, breezy and milder. High 59.
MONDAY: Mixed sun—but clouds increase in the afternoon. Mild—but with winds shifting off Lake Michigan and cooling area close-by in the afternoon. High low 60s well inland—but 57 at O’Hare and falling back to the 40s lakeshore areas by evening.
TUESDAY: Rain and possible thunderstorms likely. Windy and mild. High 62.
WEDNESDAY: Mild and breezy with showers and some possible thunderstorms. Cooler later in the day. High 66.