Winds remain brisk Tuesday—but at velocities a fraction of Monday’s 50 to 60 mph gusts

Winds have eased overnight—but they’ve not disappeared.  Far from it. Though Tuesday velocities are to run a half to a third  Monday’s, steady westerly winds in the 11 to 23 mph range promise to maintain a “nip” in the air.


Though thermometer readings are to break above freezing across much of the Chicago metro area—the more heavily snow-covered north suburban areas being the exception—wind chills are to hover in the 12 to 27-degree range.


No repeat of Monday’s 50 to 60 mph winds gusts are expected. Midway Airport’s 60 mph peak gust at 10:58 a.m. Monday morning, marked the South Side site’s first 60 mph gust since thunderstorm winds roared across the air field at 65 mph last July 24.  Other peak gusts Monday included: 59 mph at the Latin School in Chicago, 58 mph in northwest suburban Harvard and at the offshore Harrison-Dever Crib, 53 mph at Gary, 52 mph at Lombard and 51 mph at Palatine.  50 mph gusts were clocked Monday at East Chicago and Glenview while O’Hare logged 49 mph gusts.


Temperatures move from seasonable to above normal from Tuesday to Wednesday—but a blustery cold surge hits with snow showers late week into Saturday


Tuesday’s predicted 35-degree high practically equals the date’s historic average of 35-degrees, but should surge into the 40s Wednesday for the first time since Sunday.


It’s later in the week the next shoe drops.  Frigid air is to ride northerly steering winds out of the arctic, driving Chicago’s mid-February temperatures lower.


The incoming chill may flood into the city on winds slightly east of due north for a time Friday afternoon and night into Saturday. This would increase prospects for some lake-enhanced snow showers.


More active pattern of late has pushed Chicago’s precip tally into surplus territory


The more active weather pattern which has taken up residence over the area in recent weeks, is behind an increase in precipitation tallies here. Since Dec. 1, the area’s water equivalent precipitation total has surged to 7.59”—just under 3 inches (2.88”) wetter than a year ago and, most significantly, 3.02” above normal!


Weather history suggests a third of city’s snow falls beyond this date—but that the first 70-degree temp may only be around 42 days away


More than two-thirds of Chicago’s snowfall has fallen on average by Feb. 12. Just 32% has occurred from this date forward.  But, weather history here has tallied some impressive snows during the cold season’s final weeks and months.


A March 25-26th snowstorm in 1930 produced 19.2” of snow while 16.2” came down in a March 7-8 storm in 1931.


But, while wintry weather isn’t over yet, the warmer days of spring edge ever closer. Observational records here reveal March 28 has been the average first date of a 70-degree temperature—a benchmark just 42 days away.  And the city’s average first date of 80-degree warmth has occurred on or about April 21—which is around 68 days from now.


Of course, these are averages.  There have been instances in which these temps have occurred both earlier and later than the average dates we’ve cited here—but this makes you realize warmer days aren’t as far away as you might think.


Active pattern next week includes 2 systems we are monitoring; the right track could render either—or both—snow-makers here


The medium range computer forecast models of all major national meteorological agencies are hinting two major weather systems of potential interest may impact the Midwest next week. Each occurs with the rain/snow line near or south of Chicago, indicating the potential for sticking snow can’t be dismissed.


The first may affect the area on or about Tuesday and a second could be a weather-maker here later next week, toward Thursday or Friday.

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