For anyone that has lived a while in the Midwest or Chicago metro area, they know there are periods of wild weather changes in relatively short amounts of time. We are about to enter one of those periods. Our cold air of the last few days is about to be switched to mild Gulf air, and then back to arctic air. The sunshine of today will be replaced by freezing rain Sunday afternoon, showers Monday, thunderstorms Tuesday (severe south), and back to arctic air by Thursday. Buckle up your seat belts for the weather ride.
For the Chicago metro area, the chill of today will be replaced by warming and increasing south winds Sunday. As mild and moist Gulf air comes in on the south winds, a little sleet and then freezing rain will spread over the metro area roughly midday from southwest to northeast. With all the surfaces so cold there will be almost instant glazing. The graphic shows the 3 hour area of freezing rain expected over the Midwest valid Sunday 6:00 p.m. CST. Quite an extensive area from northern Indiana to the Dakotas.
The good news is that the freezing rain in the Chicago area will end early Sunday night as surface temperature warm above freezing. The other good news is that this system will bring much needed precipitation to the area. Water amounts through Thursday evening over the metro area are expected to average around 1 1/2 inches with locally higher amounts possible due to any thunderstorms Tuesday, details here.
The Chicago area temperatures will certainly bounce around the next few days. The high tomorrow, Sunday, will actually come just before midnight when temperatures should have reached the mid to upper 30s. Highs for Monday will be into the 40s, the high on Tuesday in the 50s. It is possible I may be a little too cool both days depending on exactly where some fronts stall out. By Thursday we are down to the low 20s and Friday only in the mid teens.
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