The weather’s been so gorgeous this week—you begin to run out of superlatives. We’re headed for a second consecutive 83-deg high at O’Hare Friday making this the warmest April 14th in 20 years (since 2003). An April 14th has been warmer over the past 151 years in only 2 other years——1941 (and) 2003 (85).
The most recent four days (since Tuesday) have averaged an eye-catching 20.3 degree above normal. April 2023 ranks 8th warmest of the past 151 years with a month to date temp departure of. +7.4-deg. And the opening 14 days of the month are running 10-deg warmer than the same period a month ago.
It’s interesting to note that while today’s air temp was 34-deg warmer than Friday a week ago. But in that same period, Lake Michigan has only warmest 4-deg—-underscoring how slowly water warms compared to the air above it. It one reason it so easy to generate cool lake breezes in spring here in Chicago. Lake Michigan’s average water temp is just 46-deg which leads us to caution again that taking a swim in water this cold can lead to hypothermia if one isn’t careful.
The coming weekend has some changes in store for us—but not right away. In fact, Saturday looks awesome—warm and rain-free except for the chance of an isolated shower or two in spots impacting only 10 to 15% of the Chicago area late in the day.
The approach of a cold front and an influx of more humid 60-deg dew point air sets the stage for showers and thunderstorms as Saturday night proceeds. Current thinking suggests showers the first half of the night will be quite spotty—and that the most numerous showers and possible t-storms are likely to arrive in waves, the first of which may reach the city in the 11pm to 1am time frame. Modeling puts the possibility of thunder with these rains at just under 60%.
The severe weather threat appears to have ebbed here in Chicago a bit. Some gusty t-storms are still possible in parts of the area in Sunday’s pre-dawn—but the late hour is to limit severe prospects here. The chances are noticeably high west and south of Chicago.
Sunday’s the day we jump onto the April temp roller-coaster with temps as the day open likely around 60 and readings dropping to 45 by late in the day with a roaring WSW winds sweeping in and likely generating gusts approaching 40 mph and building to 40 to 50 mph Sunday night and Monday.
Rains Sunday morning are to move out Sunday afternoon—only to reappear in a colder weather environment Sunday night into Monday when some mixed snowflakes may occur with the rains in spots into Monday morning. Though temps rise into the upper 40s Monday, that should be warm enough to eliminate any snowflake prospects.
Next week will start chilly—but see temps surge back to the 60s and low 70s Wed and Thursday. But a more prolonged cooldown takes hold late next week and well into the following week. Next week is to average nearly 15-deg cooler than this week overall and the following week may cool another 2-deg.
HERE’S MY LATEST FRIDAY CHICAGO METRO FORECAST: (4/14/2023)
TONIGHT: Partly cloudy, unseasonably mild—milder in fact than last night. Low 62.
SATURDAY: Partly sunny, turning breezy from the “SSW” with unseasonably July-level temps continuing. A fourth consecutive day of 80s in the area. Just a chance of low coverage, very spotty showers impacting perhaps 10 to 15% of the area late in the day or in the evening. High 84—the highest temp of the current warm spell.
SATURDAY NIGHT: More clouds, breezy and warm with widely scattered showers and isolated building into several waves of more widespread showers and t-storms toward or beyond midnight. As much as 90% of the area will have received rain by daybreak Sunday. Low Saturday night 60.
SUNDAY: Showery into morning—chance of thunder—then rains end, windy and turning noticeably cooler. Some breaks in the clouds in the afternoon. High 60—falling to 45 by late day.
SUNDAY NIGHT AND MONDAY: VERY WINDY and markedly cooler. Showery spells. Some wet snowflakes may be mixed in later Sunday night and early Monday morning. Wind gusts 40 to 50 mph possible—especially Monday. Low Sunday night 35. High Monday 48.
TUESDAY: Mostly sunny and milder. High 58.
WEDNESDAY: Clouding over, breezy. Shower prospects increase—chance of thunder. High 65—but only 40s or low 50s lakeshore.
THURSDAY: Windy and warmer. Showers and thunderstorms. High 73.
FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy, windy and much cooler. Some showers possible. High 63.