What a winter!  Despite two arctic surges, this winter is running WARM overall. Since the current meteorological winter season began on Dec 1, Chicago’s temp is running 3.5-deg above normal and ranks 14th warmest of the 153 winters we have on the books.

For the rest of this week:

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR ICE from 6am CST to 6PM WEDNESDAY for Lake, McHenry, Boone, Kane, DeKalb and Winnebago counties…

Latest warnings and watches from the National Weather Service.

ICE STORM WARNING in all southern Wisconsin counties along the Illinois line.

TONIGHT: Cloudy with strengthening east/east winds late. A wintry mix of sleet, freezing rain and rain develops toward daybreak over a portion of the area. Low 32.

WEDNESDAY: Freezing rain and sleet over the area—changing to rain in Chicago along Lake Michigan and turn heavy at times. Ice accumulations of 0.10″ to 0.30″ threaten icy travel on untreated roads and surfaces northwest of the city from the northern Fox Valley north into Illinois counties along the Wisconsin line.  Ice may weigh down branches and power lines. High 35—but low 30s north and west of the city.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Precip—including the wintry mix north and west of Chicago—diminishes—but patchy drizzle or sprinkles linger. Winds ease a bit toward morning. Temps rise slowly into the low or mid 40s in the city by morning and above freezing northern sections.

THURSDAY: Milder for a time with some cloud breaks and possible mixed sun developing. But turning quite windy and colder by and during the afternoon with westerly wind gusts 40 to 50 mph. High 48—but falling into the mid 30s by nightfall.

FRIDAY: Lots of clouds, blustery and colder. A few flurries possible. High 25.

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY: Sunshine and some mixed clouds. Temps rebound.  High Saturday 38.  Sunday’s high 47.

MONDAY: Rainy and windy. Chance of a few t-storms. High 49.

TUESDAY (Election Day): Sunshine emerges, breezy and cooler. High 39

More weather notes:

We’ve turned a bit colder—but will still log a WARMER THAN NORMAL DAY—the 59th of the past 83 winter days (since Dec 1).  That means 71% of our winter days have finished ABOVE NORMAL—–quite a record.

Lots of thing follow from the warmth. THE SNOW DROUGHT CONTINUES here. We’ve had just over 16″ of snow all season—but should be approaching 30″. Chicago’s official 2022-23 season snow is only 56%—i.e. a little over half—-normal.

Full forecast details at the WGN Weather Center

The Great Lakes have the least snow in a half century of detailed records—AT A TIME OF YEAR WHEN ICE COVERAGE IS AT ITS HIGHEST LEVEL ANNUALLY. Just 7% of the Great Lakes with ice at a time of year when 43% of the lakes have been ice covered on average. This mean transport on the lake is less impeded—but also means lake snow possibilities are increased and evaporation off the lakes has increased which can contribute to dropping lake levels. 

Lake Michigan’s ice coverage is just 7% of the lake surface. The 51-year average at this time of the 29%. PUT DIFFERENTLY–Lake Michigan’s ice coverage is just 24% of the half century average.