Temps surged 13 degrees higher than yesterday’s abysmal, April-level 61 degrees high. But even with a 74 degrees max at O’Hare, that temp was only 2 degrees above normal.

Upper winds will continue importing smoke in the days ahead though in coming clouds will prevent us from seeing much (if any) sun Friday.

We have some rain on the way. Showers should be reaching the city just after daybreak Friday and may fall over as much as 90% of the area at some point Friday. But model rainfall estimates are abysmally low—continuing the much drier than normal precipitation trend which has dominated the past two months. The meteorological spring season which began March 1 has seen just 71% of its possible rainfall—just 8.72″ which is 2.51″ below normal.

May’s been even drier recording a paltry 15% of its normal precipitation to date—just 0.39″ versus the normal 2.52″ to date—a May shortfall thus far of 2.51″.

The weekend looks to start cool with a bit of a temp rebound closer to normal Sunday.

But its next week, the Memorial Day Weekend which follows and the week after that which is still predicted to see an above normal temp regime take hold. Modeling has daily high temps at or above 80-deg beginning Tuesday and running well into the following week. What will have to be monitored are lake breezes which can cool the lakeshore.


TONIGHT: Clouding over and milder. Several widely spaced showers are possible over up to 40% of the area in the pre-dawn hours. Low 61.

FRIDAY: Cloudy with showery spells. Thunder is possible with some showers but will be isolated. Mild with rain ending in the afternoon followed by partial clearing before nightfall. Winds shift northwest in the afternoon. High 71.

FRIDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy, breezy and cooler. Low 48.

SATURDAY: Mostly sunny and cooler. Northeast winds off Lake Michigan in the afternoon. High 66—but upper 50s to near 60 lakeshore & beaches.

SUNDAY: A good deal of sunshine, milder, especially away from Lake Michigan. High 75—but low to mid 60s beaches.

MONDAY: More sunny than not. High 73 inland but cool 60s lakeshore.

TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Generous sunshine and warmer. Lake breezes will cool the immediate shoreline each day. High Tuesday 81; Wednesday’s high 83 and a high of 84 Thursday—but 60s most afternoon near Lake Michigan.

And the thick layer of smoke aloft off the Canadian wildfires—some more than 2,300 miles away, made today feel a lot cloudier than it actually wise. Frank Wachowski estimates we’ll put 93% of our possible sunshine in the books for May 18—even though it didn’t feel quite that sunny.

We’ve received all kinds of photos from viewers of the unusual coloration of the sun which we’ve been viewing through all the smoke aloft in recent days. In some cases, the sun’s appeared as a orange dot in the sky. More than 1,800 square miles of terrain has burned in Canada in these fires and the acreage burned in these drought and heat-supported fires there is ten times the average area charred this early in the season.

The updated NWS summer outlook for June, July and August was released today indicating equal chances for above or below normal temps. But summer precipitation is projected as potentially above normal—suggesting a reversal of the dry trend may occur. But catching up with precipitation deficits in the more scattered rains of summer can be a dicey proposition because of the uneven manner summer rains fall.