Memorial Day weekend typically marks the start of the summer season, but this year there will be a chill in the air. High temperatures are forecast to reach only early April-level highs in the upper 50s on Saturday and 60s on Sunday and Monday. Those temperatures will make it the city's coolest Memorial Day weekend since 2001. Not only will it be cool, but sprinkles and scattered light showers on Saturday and Sunday morning should build to more numerous showers and thunderstorms Sunday afternoon and Memorial Day, putting a further damper on outdoor activities.
An abrupt shift in the weather pattern will send heat and humidity into the area later next week, boosting temperatures to the lower 90s with a continuing threat of showers and thunderstorms.
Thanks to Daniel Buechele for sending along this shot of the city, taken looking east from the Marriott Hotel.
Do other countries have tornadoes? We never hear of others having a catastrophe like Oklahoma's.
— Marlene Jiracek, Willowbrook, and Jeffrey Kozinski, Mokena
Dear Marlene and Jeff,
The U.S. records about 75 percent of the world's tornadoes, a result of our nation's unique central geography that puts polar, tropical and desert air masses on a collision course, a textbook environment for tornado formation. However, twisters can occur anywhere in the world (except for the polar regions). Tornado expert Tom Grazulis has documented twisters in more than 40 nations, including Canada, Japan, Australia, Western Europe, South Africa, Russia, Argentina and Bangladesh. Most experts believe that the number of tornadoes outside of the U.S. is likely underreported because of poor documentation.
We are about a week away from the start of meteorological summer. After a cool, wet spring it looks like summer could start off steamy. So far this has been the 2nd wettest spring on record and nearly 60% of days have recorded below average temperatures. We may be about to experience more "weather whiplash". Both the 6-10 day long range forecast (top image below) from the Climate Prediction Center and the 8-14 day forecast (bottom image below) have the midwest and most of the eastern half of the country outlooked for above average temperatures. The bulls-eye for the highest probability of seeing above average temperatures for those periods is centered right over Illinois and Indiana.
Starting next Tuesday we could see a string of sultry summer-like days with highs into the 80s. Stay tuned.