Cold Wednesday but then warmer — and rainy — Christmas Eve and Day

Weather

It may officially be winter after Tuesday morning 9:59 am Winter Solstice, but the temps are anything but typical of the season we associated with cold and snow.

Tuesday 40s are to put a 13th consecutive above normal temp day on the books here in Chicago for Dec. 21st.

Wednesday will be mostly sunny but cold and breezy. High 32. (Afternoon wind chills no higher than the 20s).

And while a chunk of colder arctic air is to produce the coldest temps of the coming seven days Wednesday, late week warming appears likely to produce Chicago’s 13th warmest Christmas Eve/Christmas Day in 150 years of official record keeping here if our predictions verify.

FORECAST TEMP DEPARTURES FRIDAY: How far from “normal” (Christmas Eve)

A series of weather disturbance each of those days (Friday and Saturday) is promising some spells of rainfall in Chicago—and not snow.

Christmas Eve will be cloudy, breezy and milder. Several scattered showers possible, most numerous in the afternoon. High 50.

Christmas Day will be cloudy, though colder, temps continue above normal. Several periods of rain and sprinkles likely. High 44.

Consider what past Christmases and Christmas Eves have done. My WGN meteorological colleague Mark Carroll has done some digging for me and finds the following about Dec 24’s here in Chicago:

  • 41% have produced measurable precipitation
  • 29% have produced measurable snow
  • Of the Dec 24’s with precip, only 15 Christmas Eves since 1884 have produce ALL RAIN and not snow

Longer range forecast

While surges of colder air are to occur with somewhat increased frequency later next week into the week which follows (the opening week of 2022); overall 5-day average temp departures the next two weeks are suggesting temps are still to come in above normal more than not.

Sunday will see extensive cloudiness. Though chilly, temps remain above normal. High 41. Rain or a possible mix of precipitation deveops Sunday night.

Full forecast details and more at the WGN Weather Center blog

Of our current model averaged 16-day Chicago daily average temps, only two come in below normal.

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