A Tornado watch issued will cover the Chicago Metro Area through this evening per the NWS Storm Prediction Center in the wake of the warmest temps of 2023. Readings have flirted with 70-deg. Midway has hit 70. It’s the first time temps have exceeded 60-deg this year and Chicago’s warmest temp since a 76 at O’Hare back on Nov. 10—nearly 5 months ago.

Such warmth renders the air buoyant. It want to rise—cooling in the process and producing clouds and thunderstorms.

Powerhouse overhead winds with a directional and velocity shift is occurring with height late Friday. This is important in many ways and increases the severe weather risk. 

For one, it means thunderstorms poke up into powerful upper winds—allowing them to divert wind energy to the surface in powerful and potentially damaging wind gusts. Severe storm winds are selective in where they produce their strongest winds—but where they do in coming hour, the potential these winds will be damaging is quite robust.

Another impact of such strong upper winds is the speed at which these storms will move. They’ll be flying along at highway speeds—some at 60 to 65 mph. Fast moving storms are storms more prone to producing damaging winds.

The Storm Prediction Center has boosted the risk level for severe storms to a LEVEL 4 on its 5 level scale across the southern suburbs—and to a LEVEL3 PUSHING LEVEL 4 risk level in the city. That’s a GREATLY ELEVATED ASSESSMENT OF RISK. 

Latest warnings and watches from the National Weather Service.

The period through 9 to 10 p.m. is one in which erupting t-storms do so in an environment very favorable for development and intensification.

Once the SEVERE WEATHER THREAT PASSES beyond 10 pm, the next development of concern is the potential for powerful, NON T-STORM WINDS capable of damage.  50+ mph wind gusts become possible toward morning and into Saturday as colder air sweeps into the Chicago area. Temps will have plunged to around 38 by morning and will hold fairly steady during the day Saturday which means the day’s spotty rain showers may include some snowflakes.

Temps rebound to within striking distance of 60 Sunday—BUT A SECOND SPRING STORM LOOMS IN THE TUESDAY/TUESDAY NIGHT TIME FRAME with its strong backside winds likely to rake Chicago Wednesday.

April 2023 arrives Saturday—a month in which the hours of daylight increases another 85 minutes and normal temps keep rising. While “normal” daytime times start off at 53/36 April 1st, by month’s end normals will have increased to 65/45.  And by the end of May, normal Chicago max/min temps will have climbed to 76/56.



FRIDAY EVENING AND TONIGHT: Warm with clusters of t-storms sweeping the area—some heavy or severe—the strongest capable of powerful and potentially damaging winds and downpours—even isolated tornadoes. Clouds break later tonight, becoming VERY WINDY and colder. Low by morning 38.

SATURDAY: April 2023 arrives! Very windy and noticeably colder for a day. Wind gusts approaching and topping 50 mph likely at times. Cloudy with some passing rain showers. Mixed snowflakes possible with some. Clouds break late in the day. Temps hold nearly steady around 41.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Clearing and colder with gusty winds easing considerably. Low 26.

SUNDAY: Partly sunny, becoming windy again in the afternoon and a good deal milder. High 59.

MONDAY: Clouding over and turning cooler, especially in the afternoon along Lake Michigan. Chance of rain by late in the day.  Rain likely—even some possible t-storms— Monday night. High Monday 58—but lowering to the 40s along Lake Michigan.

TUESDAY: Rainy and windy with possible t-storms. Initially cool because of winds off Lake Michigan. But temps surge higher in the afternoon. High 62.

WEDNESDAY: A good deal of sunshine, windy and cooler. High 55—but steady or slowly falling.

THURSDAY: Mostly sunny and seasonably cool. High 49.

FRIDAY: Clouding over. High 50—but 40s along Lake Michigan.