Temps down more than 30 degrees from Sunday’s levels Monday, largely the product of a winds off the 48 degree lake waters. Warming returns over coming week with temps surging from 69 Tuesday to 77 Wednesday, 81 Thursday and 79 Friday, but expect easterly lake breezes to cool immediate lakeshore areas each day this week. Weather dries and mixed sun appears Tuesday with lots of sun Wednesday, but we weather returns with Gulf moisture late week and this weekend.

What a difference a day makes! Chicagoans experienced a jarring 24 hour temp pullback of more the 30 degrees Monday afternoon–and this after the warmest weekend of 2023, including Sunday’s recording a record-tying 87 degree high.

The southbound pnuemonia front which induced Sunday afternoon and evening’s sharp pullback ignited explosive t-storm development mainly south of Chicago late Sunday into Sunday night. These storm’s lightning displays and hail production impressive there with some stunning rainfalls–like the 3.66″ which fell at Grant Park in Kankakee County and the 3.23″ in Will county’s Wilmington. Other impressive totals include 3.20″ at Mendota, 2.80″ at Carbon Hill and 2.43″ at Channahon. But while those rains were impressive. only 0.17′ was reported at O’Hare and 0.12″ at Midway Sunday into today.

It’s worth noting that while drenching rains punctuated by strobe-like lightning displays south of Chicago both Saturday and Sunday nights, the city itself–now 8 days into May–ranks among the driest 21% of Mays on record over the past 151 years with just 0.30″ of rain on the books versus the normal of more than 1″ by now.

Major warming ahead this week, but subdued on the immediate lakeshore by easterly lake winds much of the week. Thursday appears likely to be the warmest day of the week.

Lake Michigan’s average water temp has only risen 1 degree in the past week despite the weekend warmth and now sits at 48 degrees. It takes only a wind shift off those chilly waters to send temps plummeting this time of year—witness what’s happened in the past 24 hours.

Even as temps surge to within striking distance of 70 degrees with the return of some sunshine Tuesday (there’s been none today), the northeast winds predicted Tuesday will hold immediate lakeshore high temps to the low or mid 50s–and Wednesday’s lakeshore temps only in the mid 60s as inland temps soar to the mid to upper 70s.

Thursday’s the day when temps are to surge above 80—but may hold to the 60s on the lakeshore–much as happened here Saturday.

Wet weather’s back later this week into the weekend.

Resurgent Gulf moisture sweeps into the area Thursday night into Saturday and that will add a warmer feel to the air. But it will also ignite showers and t-storms in clusters. They won’t be continuous–they’ll come and go. But averaging across modeled rainfalls yields totals which may exceed an inch in many areas.

And what will be interesting to monitor in another surge of cool air Sunday which could split the coming weekend between Saturday warmth inland and a chilly NE wind Sunday. Also, with winds pushing into 60 degree dew point air Saturday, this could raise the potential for lakeshore fog and haze. That’s a way off–so that’s a prediction we’ll refine as the week goes along.

Temps above normal this week, but modestly below normal next week.

A jet stream shift out of Canada is predicted to bring a cooler weather regime into the area from Sunday into next week. While this week’s O’Hare temps are to average 8 degrees above normal–next week may come in a degree below normal.


TONIGHT: Clouds and some scattered showers give way to partial clearing late. Cool. Low 47.

TUESDAY: Partly sunny and milder. High 69—but low to mid 50s lakeshore

TUESDAY NIGHT: Scattered clouds, seasonably cool. LOW 46.

WEDNESDAY: A good deal of sunshine. Warmer inland. High 77—but mid 60s lakeshore.

THURSDAY: Partly cloudy and warmer. High 81—but 60s beaches

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY: More clouds, better prospects for some showers and t-storms. High 79 Friday and 75 Saturday—but 60s along Lake Michigan.

SUNDAY: Clouds, possible showers—then clearing, breezy and cooler. High 60—50s along the lake.

MONDAY: A good deal of sunshine. High 69—cooler lakeshore.