Clouds inhibit overnight meteor viewing locally; big meteor counts noted in the Greenland and the UK

Many in the Chicago struggled for a view of the Geminids meteor shower through a menacing veil of high clouds overnight. Their curiosity had been piqued by estimates as many as 100 meteors might be visible per hour. Some in the astronomical community were convinced Comet Wirtanen might contribute as many as 30 additional meteors per hour.

There were reports of meteor sightings to Chicago’s north in Wisconsin but it was at Kielder Observatory in the northern UK where as many as 60 to 100 meteors per hour were being observed at one point last evening while another report indicated three meteors were sighted in a single minute in Greenland.



Temps headed toward 50-degrees next two days in 5th mildest December of past 142 years

Back on earth, the abnormally mild December weather dominated the conversation Thursday—and is likely to do the same Friday and Saturday as well.

With an average temperature of 41.4-degrees, the month’s opening 13 days have ranked 5th warmest of the past 142 years, a reading nearly 11-degrees above normal.



Recent warmth continues Chicago’s winter trend toward milder temps, fewer sub-zero lows and reduced snowfall

This meteorological winter’s abnormally mild weather continues a decades old trend toward milder, less snowy winters here. A comparison of the meteorological traits of the winters in the 1970s, widely recognized as the city’s worst in terms of bitter cold and snow, illustrates the changes which have taken place.

In the 1970s, winters at Chicago’s Midway Airport (used for our comparison because it was the city’s official observation site at the time) generated 111 sub-zero days compared to just 32 at the South Side site in the most recent 10 winters. That’s a 71 per cent reduction!

Winter temperatures in the past decade, measured from December through February, increased a noteworthy 2.6-degrees over winters of the 1970s. And, while winters produced an average of 54.4 inches of snow at Midway in the 1970s, that tally fell to an average of 39.3 inches the past 10 years—an average 15.3 inch winter snowfall reduction or a cut in seasonal snow amounting to 28 per cent.



Wet, windy Saturday storm to deliver its rains here in waves; system’s big rains sweep off the Pacific into California Thursday

It was California which was forced to deal with heavy rainfall  Thursday.  An 8 ton boulder, dislodged by heavy rains, crashed into a Poway, California home north of San Diego. Rainfalls in the region totaled 2.44 inches at Crestline, 1.71 inches at San Diego, 1.67 inches at Miramar Naval Air Station and 1.56 inches at San Diego’s Lindberg Airport—all in California.

Portions of the Pacific Coast Highway were forced to close in the day’s wind-driven rains.

That’s the storm which is to lift into the Midwest with wind and waves of rainfall Saturday and lingering drizzle which could fall on portions of Sunday’s Bears/Packers game here.

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