Books close on the cloudiest on record and a January which ranks among the 7% mildest Januarys of the past 153.

Winter 2022-23 is running abnormally mild too ranking 24th mildest of the past 152 years, the current frigid spell notwithstanding.

This month, the frigid sunshine we’ve enjoyed today aside, will close the cloudiest January in Chicago of the past 129 years. That’s the period for which we have sunshine data. Sunshine readings began in Chicago in 1894.

January 2023 hosted just 18% of its possible sun, eclipsing the previous record of just 20% of January sun set in 1993.

Januarys here aren’t known for their abundance of sun. They’re typically among the cloudiest months of the year with just 40% of their possible sun on average.

But here’s something else which may have been lost on many because of the recent chill. January, 2023 has been an abnormally mild month–the 10th warmest of the 152 Januarys over the term of the city official temp record dating back to 1871. It will finish more than 7-deg ABOVE NORMAL placing it among the 7% of mildest Januarys here in 152 years of official temp observations.

The 32.3 deg monthly average comes in nearly 12-deg warmer than last January.

And in terms of climatological winter 2022-23, the average temp for the first 2/3’s of the season will come in around 3-deg above normal. My WGN meteorological colleague Mark Carroll has crunched the numbers and indicates that ranks the current winter season as the 24th mildest of the past 152 years. That places it among the 16% warmest meteorological/climatological winters on the books here.

Since Dec 1, 45 days have finished ABOVE NORMAL; only 17 have come in below normal. That means 72% of Chicago’s meteorological winter days have finished milder than normal.

Huge pattern change after a brief, windy reinforcing shot of arctic air Friday to bring Chicago back to an above normal temp regime

Chicago are a forecast

Cold eases in coming days followed by a brief, windy arctic blast Friday then a huge pattern change which takes us back into the dominant above normal winter 2022-23 temp regime. Next week is set to average 16-deg warmer than this week.

Temps next week will peak each day in the mid 30s to low 40s–potentially a bit higher on occasion. Next week’s average temp appears likely to come in 16-deg warmer than this week.

If there are any major precip generating winter storms in our Chicago future the next 2 weeks, they’re not yet showing up on our models. But that doesn’t mean one or more isn’t there and we’re monitoring the pattern for any signs such a system puts in an appearance.