Only 21% of years since official weather records began here in 1871 have produced 85-degree temperatures by April’s close---and 2013 is among them!
Tuesday's 85-degree high at O'Hare and the 86 max at Midway were not only 20-degrees above normal and more typical of July than late April, they rank as the city’s warmest readings since the 86-degree peak on September 12 last year.
Much of the Chicago area has a good shot at recording a second consecutive 80+ degree temperature Wednesday. The exception will be lakeshore areas. There, southeast winds slicing ashore off chilly Lake Michigan and its 45-degree waters (that's the average water temperature despite a 53-degree reading on Chicago’s lakeshore Tuesday), should limit air temps to the 65-72 degree range while setting the stage for even cooler readings by nightfall.
The cooler temperatures interacting with moisture in the air may lead to fog patches along the lakeshore as the day proceeds.
Monday’s mid 80s here even warmer than a number of the country’s usual warm locations
You know Chicago’s weather is in rare form when late April warmth produces temperatures higher than the nation’s perennial warm spots. For instance, the city’s official 85-degree high at O’Hare Tuesday was warmer than readings at Miami (82), Dallas (82), Daytona Beach (83), Key West (84), New Orleans (77), Atlanta (78), Memphis (83) and Nashville (80).
April closes in Chicago with high temps 44-degrees warmer than at the the 41 on Day #1
Tuesday marked April 2013’s final day and the 85-degree high was 44-degrees lower than the 41-degree high with which the month opened on April 1.
The warmth was in stark contrast to much of the remainder of the month which saw 18 of its 30 days finish at or below normal.
The month closes as Chicago’s wettest April on record. It produced only 46% of its possible sun compared to the 52% considered normal and the 56% which occurred during the month a year ago.
Chicago area on the verge of a late week temp downturn and onset of a wetter pattern; rainfall approaching 1” possible over the coming 7 days
The entire Chicago area is to see sharp cooling in coming days, particularly in areas closest to Lake Michigan. But the arrival of precipitation, likely to arrive in waves, could produce unwelcome rainfalls approaching an inch over the coming 5 days as a complex weather scenario unfolds. At its heart is to be a slow-moving upper air storm expected only to crawl across the area because of a strong atmospheric blocking pattern predicted to organize to its east.
While the new pattern threatens renewed rainfall here, winter storm watches have been posted for possible accumulating snow in northwest Wisconsin. This development comes only a day beyond record-breaking warmth Tuesday in Milwaukee, Oshkosh and Green Bay where highs hit 85-degrees, 83 and 84 respectively.
Accumulating snow may extend southward into sections of Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas as well.
May is Chicago’s 3rd fastest warming month
Temperatures are to rebound into the 60s here over the weekend and into the 70s by Tuesday next week. May is Chicago’s third-fastest warming month with normal temperatures surging from 65 and 44 the first of the month to 75 and 53 on the 31st.