April 2013 closes with year’s first 80+ degree temp; latest arriving first-80 here in 13 years

 

It’s been 13 years since Chicagoans have waited so long for the year’s first 80-degree temperature. Eight 80s were on the books by this time a year ago.

 

Tuesday’s predicted July-level 84-degree high is to come in 19-degrees above normal. It means April, which opened with a chilly high of just 41-degrees, is to close with a daytime temperature 43-degrees warmer!

 

The July-level temperature on the way Tuesday is the area’s warmest weather in over 7 months, and a second 80+ degree reading appears headed this way Wednesday ahead of  cooler easterly winds and a wetter weather regime expected to take up residence here later this week.

Spring planting across the Midwest off to its slowest start in 20 years; just 1% of Illinois’ corn is in compared to 76% a year ago

 

The combination of wet weather and chilly temperatures has kept area farmers out of waterlogged fields in recent weeks. The USDA, in its weekly Crop Progress report Monday, indicates just 1% of Illinois, Indiana and Iowa corn has been planted. NO corn is in the ground across Wisconsin, Michigan or Missouri. It’s the slowest open to a planting season in Illinois in 20 years.

 

 

John Hazzard, who farms in the Wilmington area of Will County, tells us if rain holds off and the sun shines the next two days, area farmers may be able to get some critical planting done in drier fields.

 

By this time a year ago thanks to extraordinary spring weather, 76% of Illinois’ corn had been planted. Indiana farmers had 67% of that state’s corn in the ground while Iowa farmers had planted 44% of their corn.

 

Monday’s 74-degree high only the second reading to top 70 this year compared to 15 a year ago

 

Monday’s 74-degree high at O’Hare and Midway blew past the year’s previous warmest temperature (70-degrees) and became only the second day in 2013 to produce a 70-degree reading. By comparison, 15 such days were on the books a year ago.

 

Warmth melting snow fast to the north in Duluth; 27” snowpack’s down to just 4”

 

The warmth has been broad-based in recent days. That’s even been true in Duluth, Minnesota, where the year’s snowfall to-date has established new April and February through April records. With the warm weather’s arrival, snow there has been melting fast. The 27″ snowpack there just a week ago is down to just 4 inches!

 

Phoenix, Arizona bakes at 102-degrees Monday; triple-digit heat running two weeks ahead of schedule 

 

The warmth which reaches into the nation’s mid-section emanates from a hot air mass which generated a 102-degree high temperature Monday in Phoenix, Arizona. The reading was that city’s second triple-digit temperature to date this year. That level of heat is running nearly two weeks early!

Wetter pattern looms later this week with a sluggish “cut-off” upper low predicted

 

All eyes in the meteorological community are on developments later this week. The predicted formation of a sprawling “cut-off” upper level low pressure—a system whose forward motion is to be stymied by a blocking dome of warm air aloft predicted to take shape over southeast Canada— could mean significant new rains are on the way in the already waterlogged Midwest.

 

A survey of rainfalls since March over nearly every corner of the region indicates rainfall tallies are running far in excess of normal—in many cases as much as one and a half to two times the normal meteorological spring precipitation.

 

Models hint 3 to 4″ of rain may target Iowa and that significant rainfall could extend eastward toward the Chicago area, still drying after record April rains which have pushed the 2013 precip tally over 17 inches here—the wettest year to-date total observed in over 143 years of official observations.