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Light at the End of the Tunnel!

Josh Larson @ 11:00 AM

Today's high temp as of 6pm:10199100
Record for the day (year):100 (1930)99 (1991)100 (1931)
† † = breaks the record † = ties the record

We'll look for one more day of unbearable heat and humidity before a cold front drops temperatures and humidity to much more comfortable levels for the weekend. Indications are we may transition into even cooler temperatures by the middle or end of next week.


Forecast Confidence: High Mercilessly hot. We'll see a continuation of unbearable heat and humidity today, with highs once again approaching 100 and heat indices to 110. Expect slightly more in the way of (increasing) cloud cover than over the past few days, with a 20% chance of a late afternoon or evening thunderstorm, especially over the NW suburbs. Sultry overnight with lows from the mid 70s to near 80 downtown.


Forecast Confidence: High Scattered storms; not as hot. A cold front will attempt to push through during the day Friday, but it will be rather moisture-starved by the time it reaches our area. Expect more clouds than sun throughout much of the day with widely scattered thunderstorms, a few of which may be heavy and gusty. Afternoon highs will probably top out in the upper 80s, and for the overnight expect clearing skies and more comfortable lows in the lower 70s.

This Weekend

Forecast Confidence: MediumMuch more comfortable We'll look for much improved weather conditions over the weekend, with near-normal high temperatures in the upper 80s and comfortable overnight lows in the upper 60s to lower 70s. Humidity levels will also be noticeably more pleasant, with dew points mostly hanging out in the mid to upper 60s. A very stray thundershower cannot be ruled out either afternoon, but 90%+ of the area will remain dry.


Pattern Overview
After the past week of temperatures above 90 degrees (an average temperature departure of 8 degrees), I can confidently say that the end of our current unbearable heat and humidity is in sight. The weather pattern which has allowed for such misery has been one of a weak trough over the western US and a giant, sprawling ridge over the eastern two-thirds of the country.

However, atmospheric changes are in sight: after a cold front pushes through Friday, we'll see amply cooler temperatures for the weekend into the start of next week. In fact, some models suggest we'll experience an even more pronounced cool-down by the middle of next week, as a ridge builds in over the central US and a trough tries to press down over the Northeast (see image above). Just how much cooler we get late next week is still up in the air.

Next week's forecast
Forecast highs/lows: 86/67 (normal = 87/70)
Forecast precip: Below-normal

Forecast Confidence: Medium-HighExpect partly sunny skies Monday and Tuesday with bearable levels of humidity and widely scattered showers and thunderstorms possible either day; highs will be in the upper 80s to near 90, with overnight lows in the upper 60s to lower 70s. However, by late Tuesday into Wednesday, it appears that a reinforcing shot of cooler air may bring us even nicer weather for the second half of the work week. I anticipate largely dry weather Wednesday through Friday with low humidity levels and highs from 80-85; overnight lows in the low to mid 60s.

Tropical Bonus
We'll continue to watch Chris for the moment, but it poses no threat to the continental US, and my gut feeling is that it will continue to weaken into oblivion. As for the longer range, it appears that conditions over the Atlantic over the upcoming week will be relatively conducive for tropical cyclone development, and some of the global models suggest that there may be one or more tropical systems strengthening in the open Atlantic by the middle of next week.

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