The mild weather that began Monday over the Midwest and Chicago metro area will continue the rest of the week. The mild weather the result of basically an upper level zonal flow (west to east) that is bringing mild and dry Pacific air over the country. The flow will actually turn southwest by Thursday bringing up even milder and much needed moisture laden Gulf air.
The high hit 41 in Chicago yesterday. That was the first of every day this week being 40+, with actually 50+ by Friday. As the upper flow turns southwest, a closed upper level low now over northern Mexico will ride northeast. The low will spread a wide swath of much needed rain over the center of the nation, heaviest over Texas and the deep south which are very dry. The graphic shows the expected three day average rainfall totals over the country. For northern Illinois we are in the 1/2 to 1 inch range.
For today through Thursday the high in Chicago will bob around in the 40s. Rain is expected to move over the area late Thursday, with the main rain during Thursday night. Friday morning there might be a little rain left over in the early morning, then drying out. The big news Friday will be the high as it jumps into the 50s. Normal high is now 31 so we will be 20-25 degrees above normal. With the precipitation being rain, not snow, our record stretch of no one inch snowfall will continue.
While Friday will see a high in the 50s which is obviously not normal for the area, it is not unheard of. Last January we had four days of 50+, the warmest being a 57. In January 2008 there were three days of 50+, the warmest being a 65. It is still an open question whether we will be 50+ on Saturday. All depends on how fast a cold front moves thru the area. One model has the front through late morning, the other late afternoon. If we do not hit at least 50, we will not miss it by much as the overnight lows will only be in the mid 40s with the mild Gulf air over the area.
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