Another lackluster day on the precipitation front. Just 0.03″ fell at the airports in Chicago in what has been the 10th driest May open of the past 151 years. That places May’s opening 19 days among the driest 6% of all May opens on the books–with the monthly rain tally of 0.42″ just 16% normal. The month is running 2.66″ below normal.

Temps topped out at 74 degrees Friday—2 degrees above normal. While May 2023 is running 1.6-deg above normal, the month is running 2.6 degrees cooler than the opening 19 days of May a year ago. The day produced only an estimated 34% of its possible sun, reports veteran Chicago NWS observer Frank Wachowski.

A cold front has passed and now a gusty north/northwest flow is to bring cooler air into the air Friday night and lead us into a modestly cooler than normal start to the weekend with temps Saturday predicted to top out a 67—a reading 5-deg below normal. And with winds to blow into the Chicago shoreline off Lake Michigan Saturday afternoon, high temps at the beach should hold to the upper 50s to around 60.

Lots of sunshine is expected this weekend and no rain. Only scattered clouds are anticipated. Warmer temps take hold by Sunday afternoon with highs surging to 77 degrees. Weaker lake breezes mean less cooling on area beaches than on Saturday—but temps there will hold to the mid to upper 60s.

While smoke off Canadian wildfires has produced haze much of this past work week, modeling suggest less of that smoke is likely in the skies above Chicago Saturday and into Sunday—though some increase in the smoke level may occur Sunday night into Monday. So bluer skies are in our future this weekend.

A warmer overall pattern takes hold next week and the week which follows. Temps next week surge 7 degrees higher as a weekly average than this week and 80-deg daytime highs are likely Tuesday and Wednesday. But note—there is some evidence the pressure gradient beneath the southern flank of a Canadian high pressure could impact the Chicago area strengthening easterly winds Thursday into Friday. If this turns out to be the case, that could lower temps, particularly along Lake Michigan—even though the overall air mass is to be warmer than what we’ll be seeing going into this week. So there may be a bit of disunity to the warmer, especially lakeside—especially the latter portion of next week.

But beyond that—current indications are the Memorial Day Weekend is looking warm with temps potentially reaching the mid to upper 80s. And an above normal temp regime appears likely to dominate overall next week and the week after—which takes us through the closing days of May 2023 and toward the open of June 2023 which occurs a week from this coming Thursday.


TONIGHT: Clearing, breezy and cooler. Canadian wildfire smoke is to lend the sky a hazy look. Low 46—a bit cool for the season. (The normal low is 52).

SATURDAY: Generous sunshine and cool for the season, especially lakeside areas. Smoke concentrations are to ease allowing the sky to take on a bluer, less hazy appearance. High 67—but closer to 60 on area beaches.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Only some scattered clouds, cool. Low 50—mid 40s cooler inland locations.

SUNDAY: Partly sunny and warmer by afternoon—especially inland. Cooler breezes continue along Lake Michigan. High 77—but mid to upper 60s on area beaches.

MONDAY: Generous sunshine—just some cottony fair weather clouds. Warmest inland. High 78—upper 60s to low 70s lakeshore.

TUESDAY: Mostly sunny and warm. High 83—but 70s at the lake.

WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny, strengthening easterly winds cool temps in the afternoon, particularly lakeside. High 81—but lowering to the 60s along Lake Michigan in the afternoon.

THURSDAY: Partly sunny, breezy and cooler. High 77 inland—but low to mid 60s along Lake Michigan,

FRIDAY: Mostly sunny, warmer—especially inland. High 84—but mid 60s to low 70s lakeshore.