FIRST, THE FRIDAY HEADLINES
–Chicagoans have shivered through the second-coldest day of winter 2022-23, with a high of just 10 degrees at O’Hare and 12 at Midway. Winter’s coldest day produced an O’Hare high of 1-below back on Dec 23.
—The day dawned with lows of 1-below for a second day at O’Hare and 1-above at Midway. There have been 5 sub-zero mornings here in Chicago this meteorological winter season. The lowest wind chill at O’Hare was 16-below—but area wind chills went as low as 23-below at Sugar Grove, 21-below at Genoa in DeKalb County and 20-below in Boone County’s Poplar Grove.
—The coldest area thermometer readings Friday morning were 11-below at Genoa, 10-below at Woodstock and Shabbona, and 8-below at Odell and Elgin.
–THINK IT’S COLD HERE? The bitter cold which reached New England as part of this same arctic outbreak produced wind chills nearly 60 degrees colder Friday morning than Thursday morning.
–And the summit of Mount Washington, home to a weather observatory that has seen some phenomenally windy, cold weather over the decades—was expected a record low which could challenge the all-time record of 47-below. But wind gusts to 135 mph there at the 6,288 ft. level were to drop 100 to 110-below—a barbaric and truly dangerous level of chill.
–BUT AMID ALL THIS TALK OF COLD–we’re on the precipice of a HUGE PATTERN CHANGE which is to bring MUCH MILDER late winter temps to the Chicago area as Pacific air prepares to visit the area, expelling arctic air in dramatic fashion in the coming 24 hours.
–Temps will begin rising, albeit slowly overnight. Still, after lows in single digits, temps by morning are likely to have reach the mid teens. And SATURDAY WILL SEE HIGH TEMPS SURGE 27-DEG WARMER THAN TODAY’S 10—SURGING ABOVE FREEZING AND REACHING 37-DEG.
–THE ABOVE NORMAL TEMP PATTERN is to take hold through next week and hold in weaker fashion into the week which follows. Next week is expected to average 15-deg warmer than this week and averaging nearly 7-deg above normal compared to this week which has averaged 12-deg below normal. The 7-deg surplus comes down to 2-deg above normal the following week.
–A more active precip pattern appears likely to accompany the “warming”–with ABOVE NORMAL PRECIP predicted next week and the week following. Next week’s precip appears most like to be rain—starting with some possible rain showers Monday night and a better chance of more organized rains in the Wed/Thu time frame.
–Storm systems the following week may ride across the area with the critical rain/snow demarcation much closer to the Chicago rendering them systems to monitor—which we’ll be doing. WINTER’S NOT OVER and we have a rich history in Chicago of significant snows beyond this date. It’s worth stressing as well that ABOVE NORMAL TEMP REGIMES can still produce SNOW.
HERE’S MY LATEST FRIDAY CHICAGO METRO FORECAST:
TONIGHT: Partly cloudy to occasionally cloudy. Turning breezy with the cold easing a bit as temps rise from lows around 5 at O’Hare to the low and mid teens by morning.
SATURDAY: Some mixed sun—but an overcast builds into the area as the day proceeds. Becoming quite windy with significantly high temps—especially in the afternoon. High 37—a reading 27-deg warmer than Friday’s.
SATURDAY NIGHT: Some cloudy spells, breezy and considerably milder. Low 26.
SUNDAY: Mixed sun at times, fairly windy and mild for the season. High 38.
MONDAY: Mostly cloudy and mid. South/southwest winds strengthen in the afternoon. High 43. Chance of some rain showers at night.
TUESDAY: More cloudy than not. A lingering shower possible early. Mild high. 47.
WEDNESDAY: Some mixed sun—but clouding over in the afternoon. Growing prospects for rain by Wed night. High 43—BUT 30s lakeshore.
THURSDAY: Rainy spells—lighter and less numerous later in the day. High 45—but 30s lakeshore.
FRIDAY: Cloudy, breezy and colder. A few flurries possible. High 40.