What season is easiest to forecast the weather in Chicago?

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Dear Tom,

What season is easiest to forecast the weather in Chicago?

—Tom Jeris, Chicago

Dear Tom,

Forecasting is a challenge year-round, but meteorologists have more factors to consider during the winter. Winter weather systems are frequently large and well defined but forecasting the amount and correct precipitation type can be difficult. Temperature forecasts can be problematic, especially when factoring effects of snow cover and cloudiness. In summer, weather systems tend to be sluggish and poorly defined, but significant weather events like severe thunderstorms can evolve from innocuous small-scale features. Summer temperature ranges are smaller and more predictable than in winter, but lake breezes and subtle differences in cloudiness and moisture can make these difficult to predict as well.

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