Area to see soaking 1-2” downpours this weekend—some possibly thundery—with latest spring storm; it’s the heaviest rain event in 5 weeks

The Chicago area is to be soaked by its heaviest rains in 5 weeks this weekend. Rising temperatures are to whittle away at the area’s half-foot—and in spots, even greater—snowpack on Saturday. But, as Saturday’s scattered showers blend into heavier, more widespread rains Saturday night, the loss of snow should really take off.


The combination of melting snow and the run-off from the 1-2” rains predicted Saturday night and Sunday, threatens to set the stage for some flooding.


Wet pattern, which started in late January, showing no sign of abating


The incoming Plains storm is to extend Chicago’s wet pattern further into the future. Model forecasts are hinting at significant additional precipitation this weekend—with a series of wet-looking storms expected to parade across the Chicago area at regular intervals over the coming two weeks.


The rains and snows which began January 27, have generated 6.08” of water equivalent precipitation at O’Hare—the heaviest such tally observed over a 126-year span of time.  It’s 236%—or more than 2.3 times—the normal amount of precipitation for the five-week period.


Model vertical motion fields, which forecast where and how fast air is to be rising, suggest conditions may support embedded thunderstorms beginning later Saturday night and into Sunday.


Blustery temperature pullback to take precip here over to snow Monday


Colder air streams into the area Sunday night and Monday—a development likely to take temperatures from 52-degrees Sunday to 36-degrees Monday.  Couple that temperature pullback with brisk northerly winds, and the transition back to chilly air Monday may lead to rain changing to snow.

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