Tom Skilling’s latest Chicago metro forecast and weather headlines.

  • Temps crept up to 51-deg between 3 and 4 am Tuesday morning then dropped back to the 30s where they’ve remained all day. 
  • Tuesday goes into the books at the 34 of the past 39 days to record AN ABOVE NORMAL DAYTIME AVERAGE TEMP.  For the meteorological winter season as a whole to date, 49 of the 69 winter season days thus far—that’s 71%–have finished ABOVE NORMAL
  • And our analysis of modeling suggests 12 of the coming 15 days will also generate ABOVE NORMAL TEMPS.  Modestly colder air Friday and a slug of colder air late next week going into the following weekend are the coldest days we see and the days.
  • A WET, WINDY STORM is to lift from Texas into the Midwest—its center likely to pass over Chicago Thursday morning. It kicks off an active period of weather in terms of wet late winter storm systems. Two vigorous storm system capable of generous precip production are worthy of monitoring next week—one in the Tue/Wed time frame with VERY early indications of a second potentially in the Thu/Fri period next week.
  • This week’s incoming system’s rains appear likely to amount to 0.70″ and 1.30″–and could even include a few embedded t-storms toward Thursday morning.
  • Farther north, there are early indications of a respectable snowstorm over sections of Iowa and Wisconsin and WINTER STORM WATCHES HAVE BEEN ISSUED THERE.
  • That system’s rains are still more than a day away—but appear likely to commence Wednesday night, potentially become heavy at times later Wed night into Thursday morning—then give way to an abrupt windshift to the WSW by Thursday afternoon. At that time, what looks like a vertical alignment of WSW winds sets the stage for mixing down some powerful winds which could gust to over 50 mph over portions of the area. A HIGH WIND WATCH has been issued my NWS colleagues for our southern suburbs at the moment—though it wouldn’t be surprise to see strong wind shift north into the city the back half of Thursday.
  • A second weaker wave comes through Friday. By that time, the atmosphere may have cooled enough to permit some snow. Temps won’t be terribly cold so major accumulations don’t appear a strong possibility at this distance in time. We’ll keep an eye on that.
  • My WGN meteorological colleague Mark Carroll points out that the 14.2″ of snow on the books so far this season makes this the 6th least snowy winter to date of the past half century (i.e. since 1973). But Mark also notes 75% of years since 1884 from this date forward have produced at least one 3″ snow; 28% of them a 6″ snow and 1.5% a 12″ snow from this date forward. So don’t write wintry weather off yet!

Full forecast details at the WGN Weather Center

TUESDAY NIGHT: Clouds breaks, modestly colder. Low 27.

WEDNESDAY: An overcast returns, mild for the season. High 46—but cooler on the lakeshore later in the day,

WED NIGHT: Cloudy, turning windy from the east. Rain developing toward midnight and possibly heavy at times late. Isolated thunder can’t be ruled out beginning in Thursday’s pre-dawn hours. Low 36.

THURSDAY: Rainy in the morning—tapering to sporadic sprinkles with winds shifting west/southwest and increasing 20 to 40 mph with gusts topping 50 mph possible in the afternoon. High 44—but falling into the 30s in the afternoon.

FRIDAY: Cloudy, colder. Some wet snow or a wintry mix possible. High 35.

SATURDAY: Clearing, modestly milder in the afternoon. High 40.

SUNDAY: Increasing cloudiness—morning sun fades. Mild and turning breezy from the SSW. High 47—a reading 12-deg above normal.

MONDAY: A bit of mixed sun, mild. High 45.

TUESDAY: Clouds lower and thicken, winds begin strengthening and rain prospects rise as the day progresses. High 49—but cooler near Lake Michigan.