Skilling: Very warm Wednesday, then powerful winds blow in colder air

Weather Blog

A rare Mid-December warm up is set for Wednesday. The Chicago area could see mid 60s and set a new record! A high of 66 degrees is possible.

Powerful storms blow in Wednesday night into early Thursday

The giant “wind machine” of a winter storm capable of producing damaging non-thunderstorm winds is to set to send Chicago winds soaring Wednesday night. Gusts will approach and possibly top 50-60 mph Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

An unusual storm watch has been issued for the open waters of Lake Michigan due to the potential for winds of this strength by my National Weather Service colleagues.

The strong winds bring in colder weather to the area Thursday, then hold through the weekend

Full forecast details and more at the WGN Weather Center blog

Will we see a White Christmas?

We’re 26 days (more than 2 weeks) past the average first date for measurable snow which typically occurs in Chicago on or about November 18.

Only four in 10 Chicago Christmases have qualified as White Christmases — defined as having 1″ or more of snow on the ground as the day dawns. And prospects for a White Christmas this year are looking poor at this point.

More on the record warmth

Regarding Wednesday’s abnormal, potentially record-breaking mid-December warmth and the 66-deg high we’re predicting:

  • A high of 66-deg Wed would break the 70-year old previous record for the highest Dec 15th temp on the books since official records began here in 1871 and come in nearly 30-deg above normal.
  • 1 in 4 Decembers on average have had a 60-deg temp
  • December 1982 had the most: 9 days of 60s
  • December 1998 is #2 in terms of most 60s with five days of 60s
  • 113 Decembers of the past 150 have not produced a single 60-deg temp
  • On the other hand, 38 Decembers have seen 60-deg temps

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