2023 — severe weather season off to quite a start
Quieter weather ahead this week given the cool pattern underway—expected to last into next week
An interesting post and analysis on the Chicago 2023 SEVERE WEATHER SCENE from my NWS-Chicago colleagues who report in a post today (Monday):
“Our local severe weather season is off to a very active start. We’ve already seen 10 more tornadoes than the annual average, and saw several rounds of damaging wind and hail storms in March and April. Our typical peak of the severe weather season is May through June.”
A MAJOR “G4” INTENSITY GEOMAGNETIC STORM
Sunday night set off a spectacular Northern Lights display visible in places far south of regions most often able to see Auroral displays in the Northern Hemisphere—Auroras were reported in Europe and in Australia in the Southern Hemisphere
- Most often, auroral displays are seen across Alaska, Canada and Scandanavia. But last night’s displays were visible much farther south.
- Robert Steenburgh, space weather scientist at NOAA’s Space Weather Center in Colorado, is quoted by the New York Times saying, “The sun spit off a big blob of plasma,” Mr. Steenburgh said. “The burst of energy, which has its own magnetic field, had been moving through space and reached Earth’s magnetic field on Sunday, when the two collided to create a geomagnetic storm, he said. ‘It got our magnetosphere pretty revved up.’”
- Huge geomagnetic storms like last night’s have been known to produce Northern Lights visible as far south as the equator. They’re not as uncommon as you might think with 100 such displays apt to occur somewhere on the planet every decade (i.e. 10 years).
- Also, here are nighttime weather satellite camera views of the aurora posted by the folks at CIMSS (the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as auroral displays posted in Australia by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM). Also posted are some spectacular shots of the National Weather Service Forecast Office at Riverton, Wyoming.
FULL-DAY TEMP DEPARTURES FROM NORMAL
Extended spell of subnormal chill to persist well into next week
The chill is on with March-level temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday
- Modest “warming” is ahead Thursday and Friday, tempered by lakeside cooling. But, another healthy slug of unseasonably chilly air dives into the nation’s mid-section and spins up a sluggish, slow-moving spring storm system over the coming weekend into early next week
- Modeling hints at a return to something closer to normal the following week, but that’s 12 days off
- Above normal days have outnumbered below normal days by a margin of more than 2 to 1 to date here in Chicago—specifically 75 above normal days to 34 below normal days with just 4 days finishing “normal” since January 1.
- April currently ranks 9th warmest of all Aprils since 1873–and 2023 ranks 6th warmest of the past 151 years.
- You wouldn’t know that Chicago’s stats look so “warm” after the weekend chill and the cool air which has settled over the area with the arrival of northeast winds Tuesday into Wednesday
- A check of Tuesday temps indicates the predicted high of 47 places the day in the chilliest 20% of April 25s on the books for the past 151 years. Only 31 of the past 151 April 25s have remained in the 40s. A high temp of 47 is 15-degrees below the normal high of 62. And, Wednesday’s 49-degree predicted high won’t be much better.
“WARMING” THURSDAY AND FRIDAY WILL BE MODEST BUT AN IMPROVEMENT—THOUGH LAKE BREEZES WILL KEEP TEMPS A GOOD DEAL LOWER (MID 40s TO MID 50s ALONG LAKE MICHIGAN
- And this weekend we will see another pool of unseasonably cool and unstable air (air which favors a good deal of cloudiness and showers) take up residence over the Midwest—a feature which is to linger into next week. But, there are signs temperatures are to bounce back to more seasonable levels (i.e., hovering around 70 degrees by the week after next)
- That’s quite a way off, but the signs “warming” may take hold have been showing up on multiple models over the past week. This bolsters confidence that the forecast is to maintain a level of consistency having been “teased” by the 80s a week ago.