CHICAGO’s second day with a 91° high amid humid tropical air set the stage for t-storm development Wednesday afternoon. It was an interesting end to a month which has seen the area RAIN-STARVED.

The 0.29″ which fell at O’Hare pushed the May rainfall tally to 0.71″—FAR SHORT of the 4.49″ which is normal for the month. (May is Chicago’s wettest month of the year–but certainly hasn’t been this year). The month concludes the 4th driest May of the past 153 years with only 16% of the normal. The last day of May 2023 closed hot in Chicago, with the month averaging 2-degrees warmer than normal—but 1.3° cooler than May a year ago.

Wednesday’s t-storm rains bypassed Midway Airport even though thunder was heard rumbling there. Here is a series of 3-D radar images of the t-storms at their height Wednesday afternoon.

Dew points in the city Wednesday hit 70-degree for an hour—a steamy Gulf Coast moisture level and a reading which indicates the city registered its highest atmospheric moisture content since Sept. 20th—8 months ago.

A BRIEF COOL DOWN is predicted by mid-next week—but there are signs warmth will rebuild again by late next week and the following weekend. This week is to average nearly 9-degrees above normal—and next week, even with the mid-week downturn—is still predicted to come in with a 3-degree surplus.

STILL NO INDICATION over the coming 2 weeks of a good general soaking rain. A bit of an increase in rain prospects is noted toward mid-month—but estimates of 2 week total rainfall here puts the per cent of normal rainfall at just 47%—i.e. less than half—even with the mid-month increase.

90% of the excess heat of the planetary warming underway is absorbed by the oceans.

Here’s a fascinating article on our planet’s oceans and ALL THAT’S GOING ON IN THEM. It comes from New Zealand-based Professor of Ocean Physics, Dr. Craig Stevens. He makes the point that 90% of the excess heat of the planetary warming underway is absorbed by the oceans.

He notes the ocean ice coverage in arctic regions has dropped to the lowest levels on record as global ocean temps undergo rapid warming. Our oceans and the atmosphere above them have deep connections–the two systems are inextricably linked. What happens in distant oceans has implications of the weather across the planet.

Notes, Stevens, “….polar sea ice acts as a connector between the atmosphere, the surface of the ocean and deeper waters. With less sea ice, there is less cold, salty, oxygenated water sinking to the deep ocean.”

He adds:

“These floating expanses of frozen seawater are central to how our world works. They regulate how much light our planet reflects, help ventilate the oceans, and host important ecosystems in the form of algal meadows on their underside.” And most interesting is his observation: “Ocean heating is not so much a canary in a coal mine but a thrashing shark we’ve inadvertently (at least initially) hauled up into our fishing boat.”