A 60-degree temp Friday would come more than 4 months beyond the Chicago area’s last

Warmth has been in short supply in 2014. It’s a fact which has led to excitement over a potential for a 60-degree Friday daytime high.

Not since the 69-degree peak reading in the area on Nov. 17 has the Chicago area been treated to such a level of warmth.

Weather records indicate an average of three 60s have often occurred here by March 21, underscoring the sluggishness of seasonal warming to date.

The warmth won’t be present right away. In fact, the southeast winds predicted into the early afternoon in lakeshore areas are likely to maintain a level a chill well below 60-degrees, and nowhere more so than along Lake Michigan. But a northbound warm front is to make its way into the area, likely reaching all but the northernmost lakeshore communities in northeast Illinois. In these areas, 40s could stand their ground Friday, even as 60-degree readings advance into much of the Chicago area to the south and southwest.

The pool of mild air which Friday’s southwest winds are to tap, produced 60-degree and warmer temperatures over all but 19 of the Lower 48 states Thursday. Unfortunately,  unseasonable warmth aloft over western North America into Alaska is to produce the latest northward buckle in the jet stream over coming days which sets the stage for the powerful northwesterly steering winds which will ride down the eastern flank of this upper reservoir of mild air into the Midwest. This is a formula for transporting late season arctic air back into the region. Temperatures will be downtrending as a result in the days ahead.

Colder air’s arrival to provoke late Friday/Friday evening shower development

Models suggest the beginning of this cooling process, expected to follow a cold frontal passage into the Chicago area beginning Friday evening, may initiate shower development.  It’s not out of the question a thunderstorm may develop in a few locations before the predicted Friday night temp downturn begins.

Cooling over the weekend is to come in stages—with daytime readings dipping into the low 40s Saturday and to the low or mid 30s Sunday.

Thursday’s 0.7″ snow brings official snow tally to 80″—just 9.7″ short of the record

The burst of snowfall which swept portions of the Chicago area Thursday morning generated a short-lived 0.7” accumulation at O’Hare. It was enough snow to push the city’s official 2013-14 seasonal snow total to 80”. That’s just 9.7” shy of the city’s official seasonal snow record of 89.7” in 1978-79.

99 of 129 years have recorded measurable snow beyond March 21; 14 of them have generated 6″+ snows

That reaching or exceeding the snow record may still be within reach is underscored by official weather records here.

99 of the 129 years for which we have snow records—-77% of them—have produced measurable snow beyond March 21. And 14 of these years have generated significant snowfalls in excess of 6”.

Monday night/Tuesday snow chances continue, making it a system to monitor; conditions could be favorable for some lake enhancement Tuesday

The snow threat which could next produce an accumulation here would take place in the Monday night/Tuesday time frame. Early temperature and wind profiles don’t rule out the possibility lake-enhanced snowfall could be part of that snowy period. We’ll keep you posted.






Superstorm Sandy–the largest Atlantic hurricane and 2nd costliest to hit the U.S.: An unusual melding of the worst features of a westward-moving tropical cyclone (hurricane), an eastbound Midwest winter storm, Greenland blocking and the tidal effects of a full moon

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Tornado and Severe Weather seminar pictures

Many thanks once again to all who joined us and to our
speakers who traveled in from all over the country to participated in
our Fermilab Tornado and Severe Storms programs on Saturday! Jim Reed
and Jenna Blum reported lived by Skype from the heart of the severe
weather eruption in the Plains. It was so good seeing so many of you
there! We had two full houses and 3,800 watched the
program as it was streamed on the wgntv.com feed. 1,000 others watched
it on our stream to audio devices. 
–Tom Skilling

Photos courtesy of Mike Zarnek


Tornado & Severe Storms Seminar


The 32nd Annual Fermilab/WGN-TV seminar is TODAY Saturday, April 14—and YOU are invited! A number of guest speakers will join Tom Skilling to present an exciting program at noon and again for a repeat of the entire program at 6 p.m. The event will take place at the Ramsey Auditorium on the grounds of the Batavia-based Fermilab National Accelerator Laboratory.   Please feel free to attend either the noon session or the 6 pm session.

Where: Fermilab – Kirk Rd & Pine St, Batavia, Illinois, 1.630.840.3000
When:  Saturday, April 14 @12pm and again at 6pm

For a complete listing of guest speakers and topics of discussion click on the link below!

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Earthquake felt across northern suburbs

Minor quake rumbles across northern suburbs; 2.4 in Richter Scale; USGS reports it hit at a depth of 6.2 miles at 9:54 CST Monday evening
A 2.4 magnitude earthquake has rattled homes and businesses throughout Chicago’s north and northwest suburbs.
According to United States Geological Survey physicist Shengzao Chen, a minor earthquake struck just before 10 pm on Monday, its epicenter approximately 11 miles southwest of Kenosha and 14 miles northwest of Waukegan.
The exact coordinates are 42.526 degrees north and 88.032 degrees west.
North and northwest suburban police departments are reporting receiving a number of phone calls from residents feeling the quake.
There are no immediate reports of injury or damage.
For a map and more information from USGS–CLICK HERE


Tom's Weather Day at Walgreens this Saturday

See you at Tom’s Weather Day at
Walgreens, 235 Palatine Road, Arlington Heights Saturday, May 21; we’re
partnering with Midland Radio and Walgreens to get NOAA weather radios
into more peoples’ hands at reduced cost

By Meteorologist Tom Skilling

Hope to see many of you this Saturday out at the Walgreens in Arlington
Heights at 235 Palatine Road. We’re teaming up with Midland Radio and
Walgreens to try and get NOAA weather radios into as many homes as
possible and at reduced cost. These radios can be programmed to turned
on, alerting you to middle of the night tornado and severe weather

I’ll be joined by my National Weather Service-Chicago colleagues as
well as WGN radio’s Greg Jarrett. Veteran observer Frank Wachowski is
going to put in an appearance. Also on hand will be Midland Radio
representatives, members of the Cook County Homeland Security office,
the Arlington Heights Fire Department and others. We’ll have a
WeatherBug weather station set up for you to see and a portable tornado
machine. We look forward to seeing you and assisting in setting up your
NOAA weather radios which will be on sale at all Chicago area Walgreens
stores in the weeks ahead!

FERMILAB/WGN Seminar pictures

Thanks for everyone who came out to the show! Here are some great photos sent to us by Brian Smith of the 2011 FERMILAB/WGN seminar!

Below is a group picture of this year’s speakers. From left to right
is award winning extreme weather photographer Jim Reed; Tom Skilling;
Dr. Mary Ann Cooper MD-University of Illinois-Chicago; Dr. Louis W.
Uccellini, Director of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental
Prediction (NCEP); Ed Fenelon, Meteorologist in Charge of the NWS
Forecast Office-Chicago; Jim Allsopp, Warning Coordination
Meteorologist NWS Chicago; Dr. Jim Angel, State Climatologist-
Midwestern Regional Climate Center; and Brian Smith, Warning
Coordination Meteorologist, National Weather Service, Omaha, Nebraska:

Photos courtesy of Brian Smith

Tornado & Severe Storms Seminar

Announcing the 2011 FERMILAB/WGN Tornado & Severe Storms Seminar on Saturday, April 30, 2011


By Meteorologist Tom Skilling

Greetings to each of you! We have an extraordinary program planned for our 31st Annual Fermilab/WGN-TV seminar which takes place this year on Saturday, April 30th. I’m very excited about this year’s program and the speakers who will join me at noon Saturday, Arpil 30th and again for a repeat of the entire program at 6 p.m. The event will take place at the Ramsey Auditorium on the grounds of the Batavia-based Fermilab National Accelerator Laboratory.  Please feel free to attend either the noon session or the 6 pm session. We’d love to have you join us!  Hope to see you there and again here are the key details.

Where: Fermilab – Kirk Rd & Pine St, Batavia, Illinois, 1.630.840.3000
When:  Saturday, April 30th @12pm and again at 6pm

For a complete listing of guest speakers and topics of discussion continue reading below!

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