Heat, humidity and poor air quality are ahead for the Chicago area this week, with Chicago’s hottest weather of the season.
Warmth and the occasional threat of severe weather could arrive as soon as Wednesday.
National Weather Service Chicago Poor air quality and hazy skies are expected to continue till Tuesday. The NWS says try to limit outdoor activities and prolonged outdoor time.
Wednesday through Saturday will see an unusually strong jet stream take up residence on the northern flank of warm air across the Midwest, a heat dome that could bring Chicago’s hottest weather of the season and occasionally support “Ring of Fire” T-storm clusters.
Heat and humidity
The temperature/dew point combination Wednesday through Saturday and early Sunday will likely produce one of the hottest and wettest days of the summer of 2023.
Barring a change in forecast trends from last week, the consensus of model forecasts over the last week strongly suggests that Thursday and Friday will see an organized southwesterly flow that will likely return heat and moisture to the Chicago area in the wake of any T-storm that hits Chicago.
Heat indices can reach 100-degrees or more
See severe weather?
Current thinking and estimates of storm coverage – it may not be universal or continuous:
Wednesday: 30 to 40%
Jet streams sweep the atmosphere along the northern rim of warm air domes. Timing these clusters is always a challenge days in advance – T-storms mix cold air to the surface and such storm clusters are critical to the level of warming we see.
But while the heat is likely to taper off sometime later in the week, our in-house average of the forecasted temperatures of multiple computer models produced by 8 different models and a Weather Service “mixed” model temp forecast — correcting for the latest temp model forecast errors — makes the point clear: The week continues to warm. Dewpoints, a measure of atmospheric moisture, will increase along the MUGGY Gulf Coast (in the 70s) Wednesday through Saturday into Sunday morning.
Full forecast details and more on the WGN Weather Center blog
A note on the July rains
Precipitation amounts vary across the greater Chicago area — but Chicago’s airports are “well above normal”
O’Hare July 2023 precipitation is 5.89″—210% of the historical normal of 2.80″. July 2023 precipitation at Midway is even more impressive, with a total of 9.58″–312% of the 3.07″ to date.
But interestingly, looking at the Chicago rainfall since April 1st, Chicago’s rainfall is 73% of normal at O’Hare—with 10.98″ of the normal 15.14″ at the Northwest Side site.
Summer precipitation naturally varies widely – so the trend at O’Hare may not be that of other sites in and around the Chicago area. But it does provide a gauge of rainfall trends so far this growing season.
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