The Midwest and the Chicago metro area are on the cusp of huge weather changes this week. The weather changes a product of a very broad upper level trough that came ashore along the Pacific coast Sunday morning. As it moves east, very mild and unstable air will feed north ahead of it, and then by midweek another blast of arctic air will dive in behind the trough as it slows down and intensifies right over the Midwest.
For the Chicago area we have a few hours of freezing rain and sleet this Sunday afternoon before surface conditions warm to above freezing this evening. Temperatures will slowly rise all night tonight as south winds increase. Highs tomorrow will reach the upper 40s most areas, with low 50s south metro sections. Some periods of showers or drizzle will occur, along with some fog.
For Tuesday we are in Gulf air. Highs will reach the lower 60s with dew points into the mid 50s during the afternoon. After some early morning scatterd thunderstorms there will be a lull. Late Tuesday and Tuesday night as the surface and upper level systems deepen, strong thunderstorms will develop. The area from Texas all the way up to almost Chicago is under the threat of severe storms. Extremely rare to see a third day outlook this broad and this far north in January.
The real wrinkle in the weather comes Wednesday. Much colder air will start to dive into the center of the nation. Depending on just how fast this cold air moves in, and exactly where the surface low forms, parts of the Midwest from somewhere near or just east of Chicago might receive heavy snow a day after highs in the 60s. The rest of the week looks very cold with highs only in the teens and lows near zero.
The bonus from this storm system is the precipitation. The graphic shows the expected average precipitation through Wednesday evening. The eastern part of the Midwest is expected to receive the heaviest amounts, especially from expected thunderstorm development later Tuesday into Wednesday morning. With the expected severe weather, everyone should keep up to date with the latest storm outlooks. Severe weather in the winter is not expected, so a lot of people are not prepared.
You can follow my articles by clicking on the “Subscribe” link on top.
Comprehensive weather articles and discussion can be found at http://www.storm-central.com