Ongoing temp pullback drags Friday readings 10-degrees lower, chill to dominate Saturday too

Temperatures will continue to lose ground Friday and Saturday as late-season arctic air rides northwest winds into the metro area. Thursday highs finished 5 to 10-degrees off Wednesday’s peak readings and Friday should see readings shed another 10-degrees ending up close to 30, or nearly 5-degrees below historic norms.

 

Even chillier air takes hold Saturday beneath more extensive cloudiness which may spit snow at times.

 

 

Flurries to re-visit parts of the Chicago area again later Friday into Saturday as lake snow piles up in the Michigan snow-belt

 

Friday sunshine may hide behind a re-emerging clouds later Friday which are to return flurries to parts of the area.

 

But, while snows on this side of the lake appear likely to remain modest, the waves of lake-effect snowfall in the western Michigan snow belt may add another 8 or more inches of snow in harder hit locations there.

 

Asteroid fly-by characterized “safe” by NASA despite its closeness to Earth

 

One of Friday’s biggest headlines isn’t meteorological—it’s astronomical and deals with Earth’s closest-ever asteroid pass.

 

At 1:25 pm Chicago time Friday afternoon, the asteroid, named 2012 DA14, is to pass earth at an altitude of just 17,150 miles. The pass is take place over Sumatra, Indonesia.

 

Its altitude comes in at a distance 5,000 miles lower than the orbit of a number of weather and communications satellites and the equivalent of just 1/13th the distance between the Earth and the moon.

 

It’s to be a “safe” pass, says NASA, with NO earth contact expected.

 

2012 DA14 is just 150 feet across and was discovered by amateur astronomers in Spain when it was still 2.7 millions miles from Earth. NASA and other agencies have followed it since.

 

Our Chicago-based astronomer Dan Joyce reports the asteroid’s small size, the track it’s following as it sweeps by our planet and the presence of sunlight at its time of passage will make it nearly impossible to see from Chicago.

 

An asteroid like 2012 DA14, measuring just 150 ft. across, may not sound formidable.  But a 100 ft. asteroid broke up in the atmosphere over Russia in 1908 and unleashed energy which flattened every tree within an 825-square mile region.

 

First of two weather systems next week could bring wintry cocktail of precip to Chicago; the second may end up a formidable late week snow-producer here or nearby

 

An active pattern continues across the Lower 48 next week—one which is to see two systems traverse the Midwest.

 

The first could produce a messy mix of ice pellets, freezing rain, rain and snow by Monday afternoon before a switch to snow showers Monday night and lingering flurries into Tuesday.

 

It’s the second system which could blossom into this winter’s most significant Midwest storm.  It would affect the Chicago area Thursday into Friday next week. The early read on this system is that it may be a significant snow producer. But, much can happen over that period of time and this event shouldn’t be viewed as “carved in stone” just yet.

 

Still, the evidence for a potentially significant winter storm appears strong at this early hour, and, although a week off, this system warrants careful scrutiny, particularly for those who may have travel plans in the Thursday/Friday time frame next week.

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