It seems like a distant memory, but back on March 26 Jane Nicholson of Lake Villa snapped this shot of a Sandhill Crane tracking through the snow.
Thanks to Scott Holladay for sharing this shot of the ominous-look undulating clouds visible in the Romeoville area during during Monday night's thunderstorms.
Thanks to Jim Fantozzi who snapped this picture on an iris farm in Traverse City, Michigan while his wife held up the flower against a bacdkground of a solar rainbow.
A long last, the atmosphere is handing Chicago a three-day period of pleasantly sunny, cool and dry weather in what has otherwise been a cloudy, chilly and record-wet year. Year-to-date precipitation stands at 24.17 inches, the most ever for that period in 143 years of Chicago weather history -- and in remarkable contrast to the withering drought that prevailed at this time one year ago. Year-to-date precipitation then was a meager 12.64 inches. The weather doesn't play "catch up," but sometimes it seems as if it does.
Thundershowers moved across the Chicago area Monday afternoon, producing brief but heavy downpours. Selected rainfall totals:
0.30" Clarendon Hills
0.24" Downers Grove
0.20" Hinsdale, Western Springs
0.15" Midway Airport (courtesy of Frank Wachowski)
0.02" O'Hare International Airport
Canadian air that arrived late Monday afternoon has established residence across the Midwest and, in fact, is forecast to push to the Gulf states by Thursday. Chicago area locations that flirted with, and even exceeded, 90 degrees on Monday will struggle to get out of the 60s Tuesday. In yet another weather reversal, heat and humidity return by the weekend -- and that will bring the next threat for rain.
Until then, three rain-free days (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) are expected, and that will be Chicago's longest "dry spell" in four weeks (since a 6-day dry period May 11-16).
How hot can it get here in Chicago and elsewhere around the world?
James Miller, Aurora
Chicago's temperature has been as high as 109 degrees (July 23, 1934, at Midway Airport) and it is certainly possible for the city to experience a reading a few degrees above that in an extreme heat situation.
Worldwide, the accepted heat record is 134 degrees (Death Valley, Calif., on July 10,1913), but that answer is not as straightforward as you might suspect. The hottest places on Earth are horribly inhospitable and not likely to be inhabited. Also, the accuracy of thermometers and methods of temperature measurement (how far above the ground, for example) call into question the reliability of some extreme temperature reports. Readings near 140 degrees are possible, but probably not much higher.
Thanks to WGN audio engineer Gerry Swanson who snapped this great picture of double rainbow taken in the WGN parking lot.
Thanks to Frank Fallucca of Orland Park who snapped this picture of what he described as a "space ship" cloud from his balcony near Taormina, Sicily a few years ago. The cloud is really a lenticular cloud which usually forms as the result of lee waves as air moves across a mountain range. The clouds appear to be stationary with regard to the terrain and are often called standing lenticular clouds.