Warmer days ahead for Chicago—we’ll break into the 60s away from Lake Michigan Wednesday afternoon and make it to the 70s by week’s end—though lake breezes will be cooling the shoreline—the weekend is to see organized east winds which will cool shoreline locations even as inland areas warm—but it appears we’ll be flirting to 80 by TUES/WED next week!


Below normal temps moved into an 11th consecutive day Tuesday—featuring a sub-normal high of 54° and 31 mph wind gusts at O’Hare (Midway made it to 55° Monday). It marked the 5th day in which Chicago’s weather was controlled by the mammoth spring storm which has wreaked havoc over a wide swath of the Midwest and East coast—producing up to 29″ of snow the past two days followed by 1 to 3.70″ rainfalls in parts and 50+ mph wind gusts across a swath of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula; generating Monday’s deadly downstate I-55 downstate dust storm and forcing Chicagoans to keep a close watch on the sky for what little sun we’ve seen through fleeting breaks in the clouds.


Friday saw only 18% of its possible sun; 21% Saturday; 40% Sunday; NO sun Monday and just 18% of our possible sun Tuesday. When the sun has appeared, its produced eye-catching rainbows. But the lack of sun has taken a toll on temps temps only reaching 48 Sunday, 50 yesterday and 54 Tuesday. Normal high temps this time of year are in the mid 60s.


The atmospheric blocking pattern, which has held the cloudy, showery spring storm system hostage and reduced its forward motion to a glacial speed, is to break down and critical North American upper level steering winds are about to undergo a sea change. This is going to permit warmer air over much of the country to our west to sweep eastward–and temps here will reflect the change.


Temps surge to the low 60s inland Wednesday (the lakefront will stay in the 50s); the mid 60s Thursday and low 70s Friday. Even warmer air is on tap next week with temps likely to flirt with 80-deg by Tuesday and Wednesday.

The influx of milder air in coming days will boost this week’s average temp by by nearly 5-degrees over last week with inland 60s predicted Wednesday and Thursday and low 70s Friday. NOTE: Winds off the lake will cool shoreline areas and our beaches, so it’s not likely we’ll be sunbathing this week. But compared to the temps we’ve experienced, what’s coming SHOULD FEEL MUCH WARMER. For the first time in more than a week, daytime highs will actually reach normal levels for the time of year Thursday and Friday.

Summer-like warmth expected by next Monday and Tuesday when temperatures will be near 80° both days    

And warming next week is to be even more dramatic with a near 15-degree weekly increase predicted over this week. That’s a huge change—one which may permit daytime temps here to flirt with 80-degrees nextTuesday and Wednesday.


We’ve a got a chilly lake next to us here in Chicago and any time winds shift easterly, the cool air that floods ashore will make that evident. The lakeside cooling will be quite evident as an organized easterly flow sweeps into lakeside areas this weekend.

But a look at the May temp record here in Chicago shows since 1942, 99% of Mays have produced one or more 80-degree days; 94% have produced one or more 85-degree temps and 78% of Mays have produced one or more 90-degree days. In fact a year ago, May 12 saw first 90 here in Chicago—and that came after a chilly start to the month.

Warm Spells To Become More Frequent

There will still be cool spells—but the warm spells will begin occurring more frequently and with increasing strength as days continue to lengthen (we’ll pick up another 56 minutes of daylight between now and the end of the month) and as the sun treks across the sky farther above the horizon each day—meaning its rays will arrive more directly.

May is a month of more frequent warmth.

But lake water warm far more slowly which makes it a month of frequent cooling lake breezes too. Still, the past 8 decades have produced 80-deg temps on one or more days in 99% of years; an 85 deg temp in 95% of year and a 90-deg temp has even occurred in 78% of years. IN fact, just 9 days from today’s date—on May 12th last year—the city recorded its first 90-deg temp.  Such warmth comes and goes until we get the lake warmer—but there temp progress in the cards for those awaiting warmer temps.

Slideshow of The Weather Situation

Drier pattern in the wake of recent frequent bouts of showers

Rainfall amounts look to be pretty scant across the Chicago area through next Tuesda. Heaviest totals to focus on areas downstate and portions of Missouri

FORECAST RAINFALL TOTALS through next Tuesday evening: