By Meteorologist Tom Skilling
A snowy overnight cold frontal passage has reinforced the cold air which has dominated the weather here over much of the past month. Tuesday’s biting northwest winds aren’t helping.
With the day’s predicted 28-degree high an eye-catching 22-degrees below normal and colder than any of the city’s “normal” highs in the month of January—the area’s chilliest of the year— news that March 2014’s open has been the coldest in 54 years comes as little surprise to winter-weary Chicagoans. It ranks among the coldest 13% of all Marches on the books.
The month’s 29.6-degree temperature thus far is well below the 35.5-degree 143-year average.
In NO year since 1960 has a March opened any colder.
Sprawling, unseasonably chilly mid-continent Canadian high separates powerful storms battering both Coasts
Powerful spring storms are pounding each of this country’s coasts.
Heavy rains are sweeping into the Pacific Northwest while hurricane force winds are whipping up 36 ft. seas just off the Northeast coast and threatening blizzard conditions in far eastern sections of New England.
Easternmost Cape Cod appears in line for as much as 8 to 12” of snow whipped by 50+ mph wind gusts. The blizzard conditions are to extend north onto the eastern coast of Maine and into Canada’s Maritime Provinces, which will bear the brunt of the storm.
Western storm’s arrival in Midwest to boost Thursday temps; real “warmth”—possibly 2014’s highest yet— expected Sunday
Chicago’s first encounter with the storm sweeping off the Pacific will take the form of strengthening southerly winds Wednesday afternoon and the onset of rain and possible thunderstorms late Wednesday night into Thursday.
The storm is to track north and west of Chicago putting the metro area in its “warm sector” Thursday. That shot of mild air is to be short-lived as winds shift northwest Thursday night and northeast off Lake Michigan Friday—a development likely to lead to significantly lower late week temperatures.
But by later in the upcoming weekend, a second, more impressive warm-up arrives—one which could produce 2014’s warmest temperatures yet. Readings are expected to surge into the 60s Sunday and the most recent ruse of a series of longer range computer models suggests the warmth may spill over into Monday. This isn’t carved in stone yet. But, if true, it would be good news for White Sox fans since the team’s home opener takes place then.
With Lake Michigan still cold, a shift in winds off the chilly waters would easily defeat any warming. So there is still a degree of uncertainty regarding Monday’s temperatures which we will continue to monitor and update.